Astronomers have traced the timeline of a stellar explosion in a neighboring galaxy utilizing knowledge from three NASA telescopes.
When an enormous star reaches the tip of its life, it explodes in a superb burst of sunshine generally known as a supernova. These stellar explosions depart behind colourful remnants of fabric ejected by the violent blast.
One such supernova remnant, referred to as SNR 0519-69.0 (SNR 0519 for brief), is the leftover particles from an explosion of a white dwarf star a number of hundred years in the past, from our perspective right here on Earth. It’s situated 160,000 light-years from Earth in a Milky Way companion galaxy generally known as the Large Magellanic Cloud.
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Utilizing knowledge from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope and lately retired Spitzer House Telescope, astronomers have been in a position to decide roughly how way back the star in SNR 0519 exploded and what its cosmic surroundings was like again then, in accordance with a statement (opens in new tab) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
“This knowledge gives scientists an opportunity to ‘rewind’ the film of the stellar evolution that has performed out since and determine when it received began,” Chandra group members wrote within the assertion.
SNR 0519, categorized as a Kind Ia supernova, is the results of a white dwarf star reaching essential mass by pulling matter from a companion star or merging with one other white dwarf. Astronomers measured the pace of fabric within the blast wave from the explosion by evaluating Hubble pictures taken in 2010, 2011 and 2020, which recommend that gentle from the explosion reached Earth about 670 years in the past touring at 5.5 million mph (9 million kph).
Nevertheless, knowledge from Chandra and Spitzer recommend that the fabric within the blast wave doubtless slowed down after crashing into dense clouds of surrounding fuel. If that is the case, the preliminary explosion would have occurred extra lately than 670 years in the past. Additional observations from Hubble will assist pinpoint precisely when the star exploded, in accordance with the assertion.
Utilizing the info from the three telescopes, astronomers have been in a position to create a composite picture of SNR 0519, which NASA launched on Sept. 12. The Chandra knowledge captures X-rays from SNR 0519 with low, medium and excessive energies proven in inexperienced, blue, and purple, respectively.
Optical knowledge from Hubble exhibits the perimeter of the remnant in crimson, together with surrounding stars in white. The brightest areas within the X-ray knowledge signify the slowest-moving materials, whereas areas with no X-ray emissions are related to faster-moving materials, in accordance with the assertion.
Their findings have been published Aug. 18 (opens in new tab) within the Astrophysical Journal.
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