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Supernovas & SNR
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Supernovas & SNR
Questions and Answers
Supernovas & SNR
Chandra Images
Supernovas & SNR
Animations & Video: Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
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1. 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)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. 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)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
3. 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)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. 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)

Related Chandra Images:

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5. X-ray Images of G292.0+1.8
QuicktimeMPEG Chandra's image of G292.0+1.8 shows remarkable complexity and structure in the debris field of this exploded star. Each color represents different elements such as oxygen, neon, magnesium, and silicon. The distribution of these elements gives astronomers clues about how the star exploded. The view then zooms into the region around the dense core that remains of the star, seen in the highest-energy X-rays detected by Chandra.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/S.Park et al.; Optical: Pal.Obs. DSS)

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Animation of Star Collapse
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When the core of a massive star collapses, a supernova explosion occurs and the collapsed core forms an extremely compact, rapidly spinning neutron star. Some theories propose that the neutrons could dissolve into free quarks, causing the neutron star to shrink further and become a strange quark star. NASA has announced the detection of a possible strange quark star.
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(CXC/D.Berry)

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7. Chandra & The Crab Nebula
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Chandra's-eye view of the Crab nebula. First is a view of Chandra pointing toward the visible light image of the Crab nebula, and then zooming in with the X-ray view.
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(NASA)

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Click for high-resolution animation
8. DEM L71 Chandra Image Fade into Optical Image
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The outer rim of this supernova remnant denotes the blast wave moving out into the interstellar medium. This sequence, which shows the Chandra image fade into the optical equivalent, shows how the X-ray data is very similar to optical emission. DEM L71 presents a textbook example of the double-shock structure expected to develop when a star explodes and ejects matter at high speeds into the surrounding interstellar gas.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/J. Hughes et al; Optical: Rutgers Fabry-Perot)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Hubble Time-Lapse Movie Of Crab Pulsar Wind
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The movie shows dynamic rings, wisps and jets of matter and antimatter around the pulsar in the Crab Nebula as observed in optical light by Hubble. The movie was made from 24 Hubble observations made between August 2000 and April 2001. To produce a movie of reasonable length the sequence was looped several times, as in looped weather satellite images.
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(NASA/HST/ASU/J.Hester et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
10. SN 2006gy Image Sequence
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence of images begins with an infrared image from the PAIRITEL telescope centered on NGC 1260. We then zoom into the middle of this galaxy and show an infrared adaptive optics image from Lick Observatory. The nucleus of the galaxy and the supernova SN 2006gy are labelled. The Chandra image is then shown, again showing the nucleus of NGC 1260 and SN 2006gy. The Chandra observation allowed the team to rule out the most likely alternative explanation for the explosion. If the supernova was caused by a white dwarf star exploding into a dense, hydrogen-rich environment, rather than the collapse of a massive star, SN 2006gy should have been about 1,000 times brighter in X-rays than what Chandra detected.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/UC Berkeley/N.Smith et al.; IR: Lick/UC Berkeley/J.Bloom & C.Hansen)