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A supernova remnant about 20,000 light years from Earth | by Smithsonian Institution
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A supernova remnant about 20,000 light years from Earth

Description: This image, made by combining 150 hours of archived Chandra data, shows the remnant of a supernova explosion. The central bright cloud of high-energy electrons is surrounded by a distinctive shell of hot gas. The shell is due to a shock wave generated as the material ejected by the supernova plows into interstellar matter. Although many supernovas leave behind bright shells, others do not. This supernova remnant was long considered to be one without a shell until it was revealed by Chandra.


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


Date: 2005


Persistent URL:


Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


Gift line: NASA/CXC/U.Manitoba/H.Matheson


Accession number: g21_xray

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Taken on September 30, 2008