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Chandra X-ray Image
of DEM L316
(Credit: NASA/CXC/U.Illinois/
R.Williams & Y.-H.Chu)


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N132D
N132D
(04 Oct 05)
DEM L316:
Supernova Remnants Deconstructed



Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Illinois/R.Williams & Y.-H.Chu; Optical: NOAO/CTIO/U.Illinois/R.Williams & MCELS coll.

This composite X-ray (red and green)/optical (blue) image reveals a cat-shaped image produced by the remnants of two exploded stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. Although the shells of hot gas appear to be colliding, this may be an illusion.

Chandra X-ray spectra show that the hot gas shell on the upper left contains considerably more iron than the one on the lower right. The high abundance of iron implies that this supernova remnant is the product of a Type Ia supernova triggered by the infall of matter from a companion star onto a white dwarf star.

In contrast, the much lower abundance of iron in the lower supernova remnant indicates that it was a Type II supernova produced by the explosion of a young, massive star. It takes billions of years to form a white dwarf star, whereas a massive young star will explode in a few million years. The disparity of ages in the progenitor stars means that it is very unlikely that they exploded very close to each other. The apparent proximity of the remnants is probably the result of a chance alignment.

Fast Facts for DEM L316:
Credit  X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Illinois/R.Williams & Y.-H.Chu; Optical: NOAO/CTIO/U.Illinois/R.Williams & MCELS coll.
Scale  Image is 5.7 arcmin across
Category  Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 05h 47m 15.00s | Dec -69º 42' 25.00"
Constellation  Dorado
Observation Date  27 July 2002
Observation Time  10 hours
Obs. ID  2829
Color Code  X-ray (Red 0.8-1.5 keV, Green 1.5-8 keV, Blue 0.3-8 keV); Optical (Purple)
Instrument  ACIS
Also Known As WCD97 Shell A, WCD97 Shell B
References R. Williams & Y.-H. Chu, astro-ph/0509696
Distance Estimate  About 160,000 light years
Release Date  November 15, 2005