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Supernova remnant

Supernova remnant

R750/0103

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Supernova remnant. Coloured Chandra X-ray image of the supernova remnant G21.5-0.9. This remnant is thought to be 40,000 years old, and the central region is about 5 light years wide. Supernovae occur when a star's nuclear reactions can no longer support it against gravity and it collapses in on itself. Collapsing material rebounds off a newly-formed neutron star at the supernova's heart to form the expanding shells of gas. X-rays are produced by high-energy electrons moving in the neutron star's magnetic field lines. G21.5-0.9 lies 16,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Scutum. This image was made by the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) in 1999.

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