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The remains of a supernova first seen in 1604. | by Smithsonian Institution
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The remains of a supernova first seen in 1604.

Description: This composite Chandra X-ray (blue and green), Hubble Space Telescope optical (yellow), and Spitzer Space Telescope infrared (red) image shows a cloud of gas and dust that is 14 light years in diameter and expanding at 4 million miles per hour (2,000 kilometers per second). The optical image reveals 10,000 degrees Celsius gas where the supernova shock wave is slamming into the densest regions of surrounding gas. The infrared image highlights microscopic dust particles swept up and heated by the supernova shock wave. The X-ray data show regions with multimillion degree gas, or extremely high energy particles. The higher-energy X-rays (colored blue) come primarily from the regions directly behind the shock front. Lower-energy X-rays (colored green) mark the location of the hot remains of the exploded star.


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: 2004


Persistent URL:


Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


Gift line: NASA/ESA/JHU/R.Sankrit & W.Blair


Accession number: kepler04

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Taken on September 30, 2008