A new image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows a supernova remnant with a different look. This object, known as SNR 0104-72.3 (SNR 0104 for short), is in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small neighboring galaxy to the Milky Way. Astronomers think that SNR 0104 is the remains of a so-called Type Ia supernova caused by the thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf.
In this composite made of X-rays from Chandra shown in purple and infrared data from Spitzer shown in green and red, SNR 0104 looks unlike other likely Type Ia remnants found in our own Galaxy. While objects such as the Kepler and Tycho supernova remnants appear circular, the shape of SNR 0104 in X-rays is not. Instead, the image is dominated by two bright lobes of emission (seen to the upper right and lower left). The large amount of iron in these lobes indicates that SNR 0104 was likely formed by a Type Ia supernova.
-Kimberly Arcand, CXC