Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Youngest Supernova Remnant: Researchers 'Clear Away The Dust' To Get Better Look

Date:
April 26, 2009
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have used a mathematical model that allows them to get a clearer picture of the galaxy's youngest supernova remnant (dubbed G1.9+0.3) by correcting for the distortions caused by cosmic dust. Their new data provides evidence that this remnant is from a type Ia supernova -- the explosion of a white dwarf star -- and raises questions about the ways in which magnetic fields affect the generation of the remnant's cosmic ray particles.

A new mathematical model allows researchers to get a clearer picture of the galaxy's youngest supernova remnant by correcting for the distortions caused by cosmic dust.
Credit: Chandra X-ray Center/NASA/NC State U.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have used a mathematical model that allows them to get a clearer picture of the galaxy's youngest supernova remnant by correcting for the distortions caused by cosmic dust.

Their new data provides evidence that this remnant is from a type Ia supernova -- the explosion of a white dwarf star -- and raises questions about the ways in which magnetic fields affect the generation of the remnant's cosmic ray particles.

NC State physicists Dr. Stephen Reynolds and Dr. Kazimierz Borkowski, with colleagues from Cambridge University and NASA, re-examined their original X-ray images of supernova remnant G1.9+0.3 in an attempt to glean more information about the remnant's origins, rate of expansion, and any cosmic particles that may have resulted from the explosion. Scientists know that supernovae create cosmic rays - fast-moving subatomic particles that play a role in the formation of stars - but they aren't sure how this occurs or what other functions the particles may serve.

"We knew the dust was a problem - it's why we never saw the original supernova light in Victorian times," Reynolds says. "Our high-powered orbiting telescopes use X-rays to take pictures of these objects, and the dust scatters these X-rays, so in order to get data that might be helpful to us, we first had to correct for the dust distortion."

A mathematical model allowed the scientists to deduce how many X-rays from each part of the remnant were scattered from another part. After this correction, they found that the "bright" and "dim" sides of the remnant had more and fewer of the highest-energy X-rays, respectively. Reynolds says that this pattern is best explained by a type Ia supernova, and that the difference in brightness corresponds to the level of synchrotronic X-rays present. Synchrotronic X-rays (like those produced by terrestrial synchrotron particle accelerators) are produced by high-energy cosmic particles, making this remnant one of the best examples of a cosmic ray accelerator that scientists have.

In addition, the location of the bright and dim sides point to the presence of a magnetic field that is affecting the remnant's acceleration process, and the distribution of cosmic rays.

The results were published in the April 20 edition of Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"We use supernovae as flashbulbs across the universe ( a means to make assumptions about how the universe works," Reynolds says. "Shockwaves from the explosions and the fast-moving cosmic particles that come from them play roles in galaxy formation. If we can figure out how these particles are energized, and how magnetic fields affect them, we'll be able to answer all sorts of questions about our universe."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephen P. Reynolds, Kazimierz J. Borkowski, David A. Green, Una Hwang, Ilana Harrus, and Robert Petre. X-Ray Spectral Variations in the Youngest Galactic Supernova Remnant G1.9 0.3. The Astrophysical Journal, 2009; 695 (2): L149 DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/695/2/L149

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Youngest Supernova Remnant: Researchers 'Clear Away The Dust' To Get Better Look." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422175157.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2009, April 26). Youngest Supernova Remnant: Researchers 'Clear Away The Dust' To Get Better Look. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422175157.htm
North Carolina State University. "Youngest Supernova Remnant: Researchers 'Clear Away The Dust' To Get Better Look." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422175157.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Picks Boeing and SpaceX to Ferry Astronauts

NASA Picks Boeing and SpaceX to Ferry Astronauts

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil. It has announced it has picked Boeing and SpaceX to transport astronauts to the International Space Station in the next few years. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA to Resume Human Space Flight, Focus on Mars

NASA to Resume Human Space Flight, Focus on Mars

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 16, 2014) — NASA awards contracts to Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts to the international space station, saying the move will allow the space agency to focus on more ambitious missions like sending humans to Mars. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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