SN 1604, Kepler's Supernova, 2D Graphic

SN 1604, Kepler's Supernova, 2D Graphic

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Credit: NASA/CXC/NCSU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Over 400 years ago, Johannes Kepler and many others witnessed the appearance of a new star in the sky. Today, this object is known as the Kepler supernova remnant. Previously, astronomers have deduced that the Kepler remnant comes from a so-called Type Ia supernova, which is the result of a thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf. New data from Chandra suggest that this white dwarf exploded after pulling material from a companion red giant star, and not from the merger with another white dwarf. In this graphic a two dimensional simulation of the Kepler supernova has been projected into three dimensions and converted back into a 2D graphic, to compare with Chandra and Spitzer data. Yellow shows high density gas and blue shows low density gas. The simulation does a good job at reproducing the disk-like structure (see #1 above) seen in the data. This supports the author's interpretation that the disk-like structure formed when interaction occurred.

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