SNR Basic Shock Structure

This is a cartoon drawing of the basic shock structure of a SNR. The forward shock, travelling at the speed of sound (~1,000 km sec-1), is the outermost limit of the SNe disturbance. At the forward shock, ISM gas is compressed and heated, forming a thin, dense shell. This shell of compressed ISM material and stellar ejecta is what is known as the supernova remnant (SNR). The reverse shock (much weaker than the forward shock) travels backwards (in the frame of rest of the forward shock) into the stellar ejecta. Inside the reverse shock is hot, rarified stellar material and, at the very center, if it was not completely destroyed by the blast, the stellar remains (neutron star or black hole).

cartoon of supernova explosion showing shock waves

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Last modified: Thursday, 26-Jun-2003 13:48:44 EDT