Description: The Chandra image shows a bubble of hot gaseous supernova debris (green and red) inside a more rapidly moving shell of extremely high-energy electrons (blue). These features were created as the supersonic expansion of the debris into interstellar gas produced two shock waves - one that moves outward and accelerates particles to high energies, and another that moves backward and heats the stellar debris. The relative expansion speeds of the hot debris and the high-energy shell indicate that a large fraction of the energy of the outward-moving shock wave is going into the acceleration of atomic nuclei to extremely high energies. This finding strengthens the case that supernova shock waves are an important source of cosmic rays - high-energy nuclei which constantly bombard Earth.
Creator/Photographer: Chandra X-ray Observatory
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. The mirrors on Chandra are the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed. Chandra is helping scientists better understand the hot, turbulent regions of space and answer fundamental questions about origin, evolution, and destiny of the Universe. The images Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best previous X-ray telescope. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Medium: Chandra telescope x-ray
Persistent URL: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2005/tycho/
Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Collection: Supernovas and Supernova Remnants Collection
Gift line: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/J.Warren & J.Hughes et al.
Accession number: tycho