Astronomers have traced the timeline of a stellar explosion in a neighboring galaxy utilizing knowledge from three NASA telescopes.
When a large star reaches the top of its life, it explodes in an excellent burst of sunshine often called a supernova. These stellar explosions go away 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 Means companion galaxy often called the Giant Magellanic Cloud.
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Utilizing knowledge from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble House Telescope and not too long ago retired Spitzer House Telescope, astronomers had 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 keeping with and statements (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 acquired began,” Chandra workforce members wrote within the assertion.
SNR 0519, labeled as a Sort Ia supernova, is the results of a white dwarf star reaching important mass by pulling matter from a companion star or merging with one other white dwarf. Astronomers measured the velocity of fabric within the blast wave from the explosion by evaluating Hubble photographs taken in 2010, 2011 and 2020, which counsel 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 counsel that the fabric within the blast wave seemingly slowed down after crashing into dense clouds of surrounding gasoline. If that is the case, the preliminary explosion would have occurred extra not too long ago than 670 years in the past. Additional observations from Hubble will assist pinpoint precisely when the star exploded, in keeping with the assertion.
Utilizing the info from the three telescopes, astronomers had 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 reveals the perimeter of the remnant in pink, together with surrounding stars in white. The brightest areas within the X-ray knowledge symbolize the slowest-moving materials, whereas areas with no X-ray emissions are related to faster-moving materials, in keeping with the assertion.
Their findings had been printed Aug. 18 (opens in new tab) within the Astrophysical Journal.
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