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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
Click for high-resolution animation
1. Chandra Comparison of Type Ia Supernova Remnants
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence compares the Chandra image of Kepler's SNR with the Chandra images of 3 Type Ia supernova remnants located in the Milky Way. The X-ray emission for Kepler's remnant contains a bright central region similar to DEM L238, while the X-ray emission for Tycho's remnant and SN 1006 are generally much more uniform. These results suggest that the stars that exploded and caused the Kepler and DEM L238 supernova remnants were much younger than the stars that produced the Tycho and SN 1006 remnants.
[Runtime: 0.20]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/NCSU/S.Reynolds et al; Optical: DSS)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Chandra's Kepler Image from Optical View
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence begins with an optical view of the region containing the Kepler supernova remnant. After zooming in, Chandra's X-ray image appears, showing the dramatic difference between what is seen in various wavelengths.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/NCSU/S.Reynolds et al; Optical: DSS)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Comparison of Type Ia Supernovas
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence compares the Chandra image of DEM L238 with the Chandra image of 3 Type Ia supernova remnants located in the Milky Way. The X-ray emission for Kepler's remnant contains a bright central region similar to DEM L238, while the X-ray emission for Tycho's remnant and SN 1006 are generally much more uniform. These results suggest that the stars that exploded and caused the DEM L238 and Kepler supernova remnants were much younger than the stars that produced the Tycho and SN 1006 remnants.
[Runtime: 0.20]
(NASA/CXC)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Images of DEM L238 and DEM L249
QuicktimeMPEG The sequence shows an optical image and then a composite of Chandra X-ray data (blue) and optical data (white) of DEM L238 and DEM L249, two supernova remnants in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The view then shows how DEM L238 appears in the three bands of X-ray emission (low-energy X-rays in red, medium energies in green and high energies in blue). The central region of DEM L238 is green which indicates that it is rich in iron, identifying it as a Type Ia supernova that came from the explosion of a much younger star than expected.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/NCSU/K.Borkowski; Optical: NOAO/CTIO/MCELS)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Tour of M31
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image of M31 represents a study of six elliptical galaxies that Chandra made to determine what causes an important type of supernova. At the heart of M31, also known as the Andromeda Galaxy, Chandra detects X-rays. The X-ray glow is partially caused by the aftermath of exploded stars known as supernovas. By examining the properties of the X-rays, scientists have figured out that one class of supernovas in these galaxies, known as Type Ia, are caused when two white dwarf stars merge. Understanding how Type Ia supernovas are triggered is important, since these objects are used to measure vast distances across the cosmos.
[Runtime: 0:47]
(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MPA/M.Gilfanov & A.Bogdan), Infrared (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC), Optical (DSS))

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M31

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Tour of Crab Nebula
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only The Crab Nebula is one of the most studied objects in the night sky. First observed by Chinese astronomers in 1054 A.D., and possibly others, this supernova remnant and its neutron star have become favorite targets for amateur and professional astronomers alike. This version of the Crab Nebula combines data from three different telescopes. X-ray data from Chandra, in light blue, show the super-dense neutron star that is the core of the exploded star, which is shooting a blizzard of high-energy particles into the expanding debris field. This super-energetic outflow is striking the cooler gas and dust seen in optical data from Hubble as well as infrared light from Spitzer. The Crab Nebula contains incredibly intriguing science, and provides perhaps one of the most stunning images in all of astronomy.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F.Seward; Optical: NASA/ESA/ASU/J.Hester & A.Loll; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. Minn./R.Gehrz)

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Click for high-resolution animation
7. Tour of Cassiopeia A
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only Cassiopeia A is a supernova remnant found embedded in the constellation that bears its name, which is known as the queen in Greek mythology. Along with virtually all modern telescopes, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has devoted a great deal of time to examine this aftermath of an exploded star. The latest results from Chandra reveal new details about the neutron star, which is the ultra-dense core of the star that exploded. For the first time, astronomers have determined that this stellar nub has an incredibly thin atmosphere of carbon on its surface. This is an important clue in deducing the true nature of this mysterious source which lies at the center of one of astronomy's most famous objects.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Southampton/W. Ho et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Chandra X-ray Image and Animation of E0102-72.3
QuicktimeMPEG This motion graphic combines images of the supernova remnant E0102 with an animation of a three dimensional model for this object. It begins with the Chandra X-ray image of E0102, then dissolves to a so-called "velocity map" that shows material moving away from us (in red) and towards us (in blue). A cylinder-shaped model for E0102 is then shown, along with two smaller, faster moving regions. The model then dissolves back into the velocity map and the Chandra data.
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(NASA/STScI/G.Bacon; X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/D.Dewey et al. & NASA/CXC/SAO/J.DePasquale)

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Click for high-resolution animation
9. Tour of E0102-72.3
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only The supernova remnant known as E0102 was one of the targets that Chandra first observed after its launch in 1999. Now, some ten years later, new X-ray data from Chandra have been used to produce this spectacular image. E0102 is located about 190 thousand light-years away in the Small Magellanic Cloud, which is one of the nearest galaxies to the Milky Way. It was created when a star that was much more massive than the sun, exploded, an event that would have been visible from the southern hemisphere on Earth over one thousand years ago. The information captured in this new image, which includes optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope, reveals new clues about the geometry of the remnant. This in turn helps astronomers better understand the details of the explosion that created the remnant we see today.
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(Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/MIT/D.Dewey et al. & NASA/CXC/SAO/J.DePasquale); Optical (NASA/STScI))

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Click for high-resolution animation
10. Tour of PSR B1509-58
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only A small dense object is responsible for the remarkably complex and intriguing structures seen in this image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. At the center of this image is a very young and powerful pulsar, known as PSR B1509-58. Pulsars are rapidly spinning neutron stars that are created when massive stars run out of fuel and collapse. This pulsar is spewing energy out into space and creates this beautiful X-ray nebula, including a structure that resembles a hand. Finger-like structures extend to the upper right, apparently transferring energy into knots of material in a neighboring cloud of gas and dust that is seen in other wavelengths. This makes these knots glow brightly in X-rays, which is why they appear red and orange in this Chandra image. Astronomers think that this pulsar is about 1700 years old and lies about 17,000 light years from Earth.
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(NASA/CXC/SAO/P.Slane, et al.)

Related Chandra Images: