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Multiwavelength Views of Tycho's Supernova Remnant
This image comes from a very deep Chandra observation of the Tycho supernova remnant, produced by the explosion of a white dwarf star in our Galaxy. Low-energy X-rays (red) in the image show expanding debris from the supernova explosion and high energy X-rays (blue) show the blast wave, a shell of extremely energetic electrons . These high-energy X-rays show a pattern of X-ray "stripes" never previously seen in a supernova remnant. By rolling the mouse over the color image above, two regions containing stripes in the high energy image can be seen superimposed on the full color version. Some of the brightest stripes can also directly be seen in the full color image, on the right side of the remnant pointing from the outer rim to the interior. The stellar background is from the Digitized Sky Survey and only shows stars outside the remnant.
These stripes may provide the first direct evidence that supernova remnants can accelerate particles to energies a hundred times higher than achieved by the most powerful particle accelerator on Earth, the Large Hadron Collider. The results could explain how some of the extremely energetic particles bombarding the Earth, called cosmic rays, are produced, and they provide support for a theory about how magnetic fields can be dramatically amplified in such blast waves.
The Tycho supernova remnant is named for the famous Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who reported observing the supernova in 1572. It is located in the Milky Way, about 13,000 light years from Earth. Because of its proximity and intrinsic brightness, the supernova was so bright that it could be seen during the daytime with the naked eye.
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/K.Eriksen et al.; Optical: DSS
Scale: Image is 19 arcmin across (about 55 light years)
Category: Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
Coordinates: (J2000) RA 00h 25m 17s | Dec +64° 08' 37"
Observation Date: 9 pointings between April 13 and May 3, 2009
Observation Time: 207 hours 15 min (8 days 15 hours 15 min)
Obs. ID: 10093-10097; 10902-10904; 10906
Color Code: Energy: Red 1.6-2.15 keV, Green 7.15-9.3 keV, Blue 4-6 keV
Also Known As: G120.1+01.4, SN 1572
References: K.Eriksen et al. 2011, ApJL, 728:L28; arXiv:1101.1454
Distance Estimate: About 13,000 light years