Astronomy Picture of the Day

IC 443: Supernova Remnant and Neutron Star

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#88192 by @ 03.06.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
IC 443: Supernova Remnant and Neutron Star


IC 443 is typical of the
of a stellar explosion, the ultimate fate of massive stars.

Seen in this
composite image, the
supernova remnant is still glowing
across the spectrum,
from radio (blue) to optical (red) to x-ray (green) energies --
even though light from the stellar
explosion that created the expanding cosmic cloud first
reached planet Earth thousands of years ago.

The odd thing about IC 443 is the apparent
motion of its dense
neutron star, the collapsed remnant of the
stellar core.

The close-up inset shows the swept-back wake created as the neutron star
through the hot gas, but that direction
is not aligned with the direction toward the apparent center of
the remnant.

The misalignment suggests that the
explosion site was offset
from the center or that fast-moving gas in the nebula has
influenced the wake.

The wide view of IC 443, also known as the
Jellyfish nebula,
spans about 65 light-years at the supernova remnant's
estimated distance of 5,000 light-years.

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