Friday, March 21, 2014

Supernova Remnant DEM L241

DEM L241: A supernova remnant in the Large Magellanic Cloud about 160,000 light years from Earth.

This composite image contains data from Chandra (purple) that provides evidence for the survival of a companion star from the blast of a supernova explosion. Chandra’s X-rays reveal a point-like source in the supernova remnant at the location of a massive star. The data suggest that mass is being pulled away from the massive star towards a neutron star or a black hole companion. If confirmed, this would be only the third binary system containing both a massive star and a neutron star or black hole ever found in the aftermath of a supernova. This supernova remnant is found embedded in clouds of ionized hydrogen, which are shown in optical light (yellow and cyan) from the MCELS survey, along with additional optical data from the DSS (white).

Scale: Image is 24 arcmin across (1100 light years).

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F.Seward et al; Optical: NOAO/CTIO/MCELS, DSS

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