G21.5-0.9: A Supernova's Cosmic Shell

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#72456 by @ 22.04.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
G21.5-0.9: A Supernova's Cosmic Shell


Explanation:

The picture is lovely, but this
pretty
cosmic shell
was
produced by almost unbelievable violence - created
when a star with nearly 20 times the mass
of the sun blasted away its outer layers in a spectacular
supernova explosion.

As the expanding debris cloud swept through surrounding interstellar
material, shock waves heated the gas causing the supernova remnant
to glow in x-rays.

In fact, it is possible that all supernova explosions create
similar shells,
some brighter than others.

Cataloged as G21.5-0.9, this
shell
supernova remnant
is relatively faint,
requiring about 150 hours of x-ray data from the orbiting
Chandra
Observatory
to create this false-color image.

G21.5-0.9 is about 20,000 light-years distant in the constellation
Scutum
and measures about 30 light-years across.

Based on the remnant's size, astronomers estimate that light
from the original stellar explosion
first
reached
Earth several thousand years ago.




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