RCW 103

CXC Logo
Chandra X-ray
Observatory Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
60 Garden St. Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
RCW 103: A supernova remnant created from the death of a massive star about 2,000 years ago.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/Penn State/G.Garmire et al)

Caption: Chandra's X-ray image of RCW 103 shows the debris left behind when a star at least 8 times more massive than the Sun exploded at the end of its life. The colors of red, green, and blue are mapped to low, medium, and high-energy X-rays respectively. At the center, the bright blue dot is likely the neutron star that astronomers believe formed when the star exploded. There is some evidence that an unseen companion star may be slowing the rotation of this central neutron star.

Scale: Image is 11.9 arcmin across

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory