Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Distant Supernova Remnant Imaged By Chandra X-Ray Observatory's High Resolution Camera

Date:
September 13, 1999
Source:
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
The High Resolution Camera, one of the two X-ray cameras on NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, was placed into the focus for the first time Aug. 30. The first target was LMC X-1, a point-like source of X-rays in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

The High Resolution Camera, one of the two X-ray cameras on NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, was placed into the focus for the first time Aug. 30. The first target was LMC X-1, a point-like source of X-rays in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Related Articles


The cloud, a companion galaxy to the Milky Way, is 180,000 light years from Earth. After checking the focus with LMC X-1, Chandra observed N132D, a remnant of an exploded star in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

"These were preliminary test observations," emphasized Dr. Stephen Murray, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, located in Cambridge, Mass. Murray is principal investigator for the High Resolution Camera. "But we are very pleased with the results. All indications are that the high resolution camera will produce X-ray images of unprecedented clarity."

The N132D image shows a highly structured remnant, or shell, of 10-million-degree gas that is 80 light years across. Such a shell in the vicinity of the Sun would encompass more than 50 nearby stars. The amount of material in the N132D hot gas remnant is equal to that of 600 suns.

The N132D supernova remnant appears to be colliding with a giant molecular cloud, which produces the brightening on the southern rim of the remnant. The molecular cloud, visible with a radio telescope, has the mass of 300,000 suns. The relatively weak X-radiation on the upper left shows that the shock wave is expanding into a less dense region on the edge of the molecular cloud. A number of small circular structures are visible in the central regions and a hint of a large circular loop can be seen in the upper part of the remnant. Whether the peculiar shape of the supernova remnant can be fully explained in terms of these effects, or whether they point to a peculiar cylindrically shaped explosion remains to be seen.

"The image is so rich in structure that it will take a while to sort out what is really going on," Murray said. "It could be multiple supernovas, or absorbing clouds in the vicinity of the supernova."

The unique capabilities of the high resolution camera stem from the close match of its imaging capability to the focusing power of the mirrors. When used with the Chandra mirrors, the high resolution camera will make images that reveal detail as small as one-half an arc second. This is equivalent to the ability to read a stop sign at a distance of 12 miles. The checkout period for the high resolution camera will continue for the next few weeks, during which time the Chandra science team expects to acquire images of other supernova remnants, star clusters and starburst galaxies.

To follow Chandra's progress, visit the Chandra News Web site at: http://chandra.nasa.gov and http://chandra.harvard.edu.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra X-ray Observatory for NASA's Office of Space Science, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Mass., manages the Chandra science program and controls the observatory for NASA. TRW Space and Electronics Group of Redondo Beach, Calif., leads the contractor team that built Chandra.

- 30 -

Note to Editors / News Directors: High resolution digital versions of the X-ray image (300 dpi JPG, TIFF) and other information associated with this release are available on the Internet at:http://chandra.harvard.eduor via links in:http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/0050

Interviews, photos and video supporting this release are available to media representatives by contacting Dave Drachlis of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034. For an electronic version of this release or more information, visit Chandra's News Center on the Web at:http://chandra.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "Distant Supernova Remnant Imaged By Chandra X-Ray Observatory's High Resolution Camera." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990910192416.htm>.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. (1999, September 13). Distant Supernova Remnant Imaged By Chandra X-Ray Observatory's High Resolution Camera. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990910192416.htm
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "Distant Supernova Remnant Imaged By Chandra X-Ray Observatory's High Resolution Camera." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990910192416.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after NASA declared the Kepler spacecraft broken beyond repair, scientists have figured out how to continue getting useful data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

Geminids Meteor Shower Lights Up Skies in China

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) The Geminids meteor shower lights up the skies over the Changbai Mountains in northeast China. Duration: 01:03 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins