Friday, June 28, 2013

Supernova Remnant G1.9+0.3

G1.9+0.3: A supernova remnant in the Milky Way located about 28,000 light years from Earth

A new Chandra observation is providing important details about the most recent supernova known to have exploded in the Milky Way. The explosion would have been visible from Earth a little more than a hundred years ago if it had not been heavily obscured by dust and gas. G1.9+0.3 was most likely created when a white dwarf star underwent a thermonuclear detonation and was destroyed – either after merging with another white dwarf or by pulling too much material from an orbiting companion star. The Chandra data show that most of the X-ray emission is “synchrotron radiation,” produced by extremely energetic electrons accelerated in the rapidly expanding blast wave of the supernova. The new X-ray study also reveals that the explosion that created G1.9+0.3 was asymmetrical and unusually energetic.

Scale: Image is 8 arcmin (About 60 light years).

Image credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/NCSU/K.Borkowski et al.); Optical (DSS).

Note: For more information, see G1.9+0.3: The Remarkable Remains of a Recent Supernova.

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