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Daily Telescope: Looking at an 800-year-old supernova remnant

Daily Telescope: Looking at an 800-year-old supernova remnant

Zoom in / Composite image of SNR 1181.

NASA, ESA, JPL and others. the.

Welcome to Daily Telescope. There is too little darkness in this world and not enough light, too little pseudoscience and not enough science. We'll let the other posts provide your daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we'll take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe full of stars and wonders.

Good morning. It's March 28, and today's image comes from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory as well as a host of other observatories.

It is a composite image of the supernova remnant SNR 1181. The name of the object gives us a clue as to when this object went supernova: the year 1181. For about half a year, the “new” star appeared in the constellation Cassiopeia. It took a long time before astronomers using modern telescopes were able to find the remnants of this supernova, but they finally did in the past decade.

This image combines X-ray, optical and infrared wavelengths to bring the remains to life. By doing so, astronomers were able to piece together what happened to cause the supernova. Apparently it was an incredible amount of astronomical espionage:

Studies of the composition of the various parts of the remnant have led scientists to believe that it was formed in a thermonuclear explosion, more precisely, a special type of supernova called a sub-luminous Type Iax event. During this event, two white dwarf stars merged, and no remnants of this type of explosion would normally be expected. But incomplete explosions could leave a kind of “zombie” star, such as the massive white dwarf star in this system. This extremely hot star, one of the hottest stars in the Milky Way (about 200,000 degrees Celsius), has fast stellar winds of up to 16,000 kilometers per hour. The combination of a star and a nebula makes it a unique opportunity to study such rare explosions.

Incidentally, the Chandra Observatory is facing severe budget cuts despite continuing to operate. There is an effort to save The Grand Observatory.

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source: Chandra X-ray Observatory

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