July 18, 2024

Details of the supernova have been revealed for the first time in a new image

2 min read
Details of the supernova have been revealed for the first time in a new image
Details of the supernova have been revealed for the first time in a new image

The remnant of supernova RCW 86, the first to appear in historical records, was observed by the VĂ­ctor M. Blanco Telescope Camera of the Inter-American Observatory in Cerro Tololo. The supernova was formed by a white dwarf star that exploded more than 1,800 years ago, and its brightness was recorded by observers in China as a “guest star”. Today, only the ring of debris left over from the operation remains.

This historic supernova occurred more than 8,000 light-years away from us toward the Alpha Centauri star system, and formed the structure that astronomers today officially call “SN 185.” The remains of the body evolved over the past 1,800 years to form the remains seen today.

paying off:

With features that allow you to observe large areas of the night sky without losing information, the Dark Energy Camera provided this image, which reveals a rare view of the entire structure of a supernova as we see it today. Beyond beauty, the image could help scientists better understand the processes behind the explosion.

The image shows several stars with structures in filaments that appear to be moving away from a central point. These formations are considered the bright remnants of a supernova that was observed by Chinese astronomers during the year 185 BC, and it remained visible to the naked eye for about eight months, until it lost its luster and disappeared.

Currently, the relationship between the remnant RCW 86 and supernova SN 185 is already well known, but this was not always the case: for decades, astronomers calculated that it would take about 10,000 years for a massive star to collapse into a supernova. observed structure. If so, it would be much older than the supernova seen in 185.

Using X-ray data, scientists found that the region of the supernova contained significant amounts of iron, indicating that it was a type I supernova. This designation is given to outbursts that occur in binary star systems, when a white dwarf star captures material from a neighboring star until it ends up exploding.

As the white dwarf picked up material from the other star, high-speed winds pushed nearby gas and dust outward, carving out the cavity we see today. Then, when the white dwarf star reached the point where it could no longer sustain it, it violently exploded.

source: NOIRLab

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