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Supernovas & SNR
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Supernovas & SNR
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Supernovas & SNR
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Supernovas & SNR
Animations & Video: Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
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1. Tour of G292.01+8
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image shows how complex a star's afterlife can be. At a distance of about 20,000 light years, G292 is one of only three supernova remnants in the Milky Way galaxy known to contain large amounts of oxygen. This image from Chandra shows us that G292 is now a rapidly-expanding debris field that contains, along with oxygen, other elements such as neon and silicon that were forged in the star before it exploded.

By mapping the distribution of X-rays in different energy bands, astronomers can trace the distribution of chemical elements ejected in the supernova. The results imply that the explosion was not symmetrical. For example, silicon and sulfur, which are colored blue in this image, and magnesium, which is green, are seen strongly in the upper right. On the other hand, oxygen, which appears as yellow and orange, dominates the lower left. Studying the details of this X-ray image allows astronomers to better understand how some stars die and disperse important elements like oxygen into the next generation of stars and planets.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/S.Park et al.; Optical: Pal.Obs. DSS)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Tour of SN1996cr
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only In 1995 or 1996 a supernova exploded in a nearby galaxy, but no one on Earth knew it at the time. By using the vast amounts of online data now available, a team of astronomers was able to piece together this cosmic case over a decade later. A Chandra observation in 2001 started things off by showing that this object was a bright source that was changing in its X-ray brightness. This led to an investigation that involved some 18 different telescopes on the ground and in space. Ultimately, astronomers realized that this object - now known as supernova 1996cr - was one of the nearest and brightest to have gone off in the last 25 years.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/Columbia/F.Bauer et al); Optical (NASA/STScI/UMD/A.Wilson et al.))

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Click for high-resolution animation
3. Tour of SN 1006
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only Over a thousand years ago, a new object was spotted in the sky that was brighter than Venus and visible during the day for weeks. This spectacular lightshow was documented in China, Japan, Europe and the Arab world, and we now know it was the brightest supernova ever recorded on Earth. By using modern telescopes that detect optical, radio and x-ray light, astronomers can continue to study the expanding debris field. The original star was actually one of a pair. One star pulled so much material from its companion, that eventually it triggered an explosion that destroyed it. What remains is this complicated and beautiful structure which astronomers call Supernova 1006. This helps us better understand how some stars explode.
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(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/G.Cassam-Chenaļ, J.Hughes et al.; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF/GBT/VLA/Dyer, Maddalena & Cornwell; Optical: Middlebury College/F.Winkler, NOAO/AURA/NSF/CTIO Schmidt & DSS)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Tour of G1.9+0.3
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only About a hundred and forty years ago, the light from a supernova explosion in our galaxy reached the Earth, but no one saw it. That's because, as this infrared version shows, the center of the Milky Way contains thick bands of gas and dust, making it impossible for astronomers to detect this explosion using optical telescopes. However, the debris field created by the supernova shines brightly in x-ray and radio wavelengths. A combination of data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in space and the Very Large Array of radio dishes in New Mexico allowed astronomers to identify this object and nail down its age. The discovery of this supernova remnant helps astronomers better understand how often these stellar time-bombs go off in our galaxy.
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(Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/NCSU/S.Reynolds et al.); Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA/Cambridge/D.Green et al.); Infrared (2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF/CfA/E.Bressert))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Animation of G1.9+0.3
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This animation begins with a view of the Milky Way from above the plane of the galaxy, where the Galactic center and bulge is unobscured by dust and gas. The viewer then travels towards the center of the Galaxy and zooms into the bright, crowded central bulge of the Milky Way, where a supernova explosion occurs. The ejecta from the explosion rushes outwards where it interacts with the gas surrounding the explosion, causing the formation of a supernova remnant which shines brightly in X-rays and radio waves. This is the scenario scientists envision occurred with G1.9+0.3
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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

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Click for high-resolution animation
6. Comparison of X-ray and Radio Images
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In order to determine the age of G1.9+0.3, astronomers needed to track how quickly it is expanding. By comparing a radio image from 1985 to a Chandra image taken in 2007, scientists see the ring of debris expand. The expansion rate was confirmed with another radio observation with the VLA in 2008. The difference in size between these images gives clear evidence for expansion, allowing the age of the remnant and the time since the original supernova explosion (about 140 years) to be estimated.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/NCSU/S.Reynolds et al.); Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA/ Cambridge/D.Green et al.)

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7. Zoom into G1.9+0.3
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Beginning with a wide-field look at the center of the Milky Way from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, the view zooms into the Galactic Center before panning about a thousand light years away to where G1.9+0.3 is located. While most optical light is blocked by thick clouds of gas and dust in this part of the Galaxy, X-ray and radio radiation can penetrate them. A combination of data from Chandra and the VLA allowed for the discovery of a recent supernova explosion that would have appeared in the night sky during the late 19th century if it was unobscured.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/NCSU/S.Reynolds et al.); Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA/ Cambridge/ D.Green et al.); Infrared (2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF/CfA/E.Bressert)

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Click for high-resolution animation
8. Tour of Kepler
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only The supernova explosion that created this object was witnessed on Earth about 400 ago years by many skywatchers, including the astronomer Johannes Kepler. This object, which now bears Kepler's name, is the remains of a massive star's demise. Visible-light from Hubble reveals where the supernova shock wave is slamming into the densest regions of surrounding gas. Spitzer shows microscopic dust particles that have been heated by the supernova shock wave. The X-ray data from Chandra show regions of very hot gas as well as extremely high-energy particles. The remnant of Kepler's supernova is possibly the last supernova seen to explode in our Galaxy. It is located about 13,000 light years from Earth.
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(NASA/ESA/JHU/R.Sankrit & W.Blair)

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Click for high-resolution animation
9. Tour of Cassiopeia A
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only Cassiopeia A is the 300-year-old remnant created by the supernova explosion of a massive star. Each Great Observatory image highlights different characteristics of the remnant. Hubble sees the delicate filamentary structure of gases at temperatures about 10,000 degrees Celsius. In the infrared, Spitzer reveals warm dust in the outer shell. Chandra shows much hotter gases glowing in X-rays at about 10 million degrees. This hot gas was created when ejected material from the supernova smashed into surrounding gas and dust at millions of miles per hour. When combined, the data from these telescopes produce a stunning image of this famous object.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: NASA/STScI; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Click for high-resolution animation
10. Tour of Crab Nebula
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only In 1054 A.D., a star's death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth. Now, almost a thousand years later, a superdense neutron star left behind by the explosion is spewing out a blizzard of extremely high-energy particles into the expanding debris field known as the Crab Nebula. This image combines data from Hubble, Spitzer and Chandra telescopes. The size of the X-ray image is smaller than the others because ultrahigh-energy X-ray emitting electrons radiate away their energy more quickly than the lower-energy electrons emitting optical and infrared light. By studying the Crab Nebula, astronomers hope to unlock the secrets of how similar objects across the universe are powered.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/ASU/J.Hester et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/ASU/J.Hester & A.Loll; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. Minn./R.Gehrz)

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