W49B

The highly distorted supernova remnant shown in this image may contain the most recent black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy. The image combines X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in blue and green, radio data from the NSF's Very Large Array in pink, and infrared data from Caltech's Palomar Observatory in yellow.

The remnant, called W49B, is about a thousand years old, as seen from Earth, and is at a distance of about 26,000 light years away.

The supernova explosions that destroy massive stars are generally symmetrical, with the stellar material blasting away more or less evenly in all directions. However, in the W49B supernova, material near the poles of the doomed rotating star was ejected at a much higher speed than material emanating from its equator. Jets shooting away from the star's poles mainly shaped the supernova explosion and its aftermath.

By tracing the distribution and amounts of different elements in the stellar debris field, researchers were able to compare the Chandra data to theoretical models of how a star explodes. For example, they found iron in only half of the remnant while other elements such as sulfur and silicon were spread throughout. This matches predictions for an asymmetric explosion. Also, W49B is much more barrel-shaped than most other remnants in X-rays and several other wavelengths, pointing to an unusual demise for this star.

More at http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2013/w49b/

Carnival of Space

Carnival of Space

-Megan Watzke, CXC


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Average: 4 (2 votes)

Amazing!

This photos are absolutely amazing first of all. What exactly caused this one to move uniformly. I think that events sch as this support the idea that there are forces in space that we do not yet understand. Obviously there is the common outward force but there seems to be some element of randomness. I understand that Physics speaking there is nothing truly random but the photo speaks for itself. Thank you for the post.


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