Chandra and XMM-Newton observations of 2 supernova remnants
Credit:Chandra: NASA/CXC/SAO/P.Slane et al.; XMM-Newton: ESA/RIKEN/J.Hiraga et al.; Chandra: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Utrecht/J.Vink et al.; XMM-Newton: ESA/Univ. of Utrecht/J.Vink et al.


Stellar post-mortems are conducted by study of supernova remnants. This tells astrophysicists how the explosive death proceeds, and how the cremains are launched into free space. In such studies it helps to see both fine and faint detail. For X-ray astronomers, the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory plus the Chandra X-ray observatory provide capabilities to see both deep and detailed. The images above show two supernova remnants as viewed in X-rays by XMM-Newton and by Chandra. On the left is G347.3-0.5, a Galactic X-ray supernova remnant discovered by the ROSAT X-ray observatory, one of the brightest X-ray supernova remnants known and whose northwestern rim is associated with the production of ultra-high energy TeV photons. On the right is the remnant RCW 86, probably discovered by Chinese astronomers and perhaps the earliest supernova ever recorded. XMM-Newton records the overall structure of the remnants; crucial details in smaller outlined regions are provided by Chandra. The combination of these X-ray observations allow astronomers to determine how the strong shock wave develops after the blast, how particles can be accelerated to extremely high energies, and how the chemistry of the Galaxy is altered by such explosions.

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:24:07 EDT

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