NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supernova remnant. X-ray space telescope image of the Tycho supernova remnant. The supersonic expansion of this exploded star produced a shock wave moving outward into the surrounding interstellar gas and another reverse shock wave moving back into the expanding stellar debris. This image reveals the dynamics of the explosion in great detail. The outer shock has produced a rapidly moving shell of extremely high-energy electrons (blue), and the reverse shock has heated the expanding debris to millions of degrees (red and green). There is evidence from the data that these shock waves may be responsible for some of the cosmic rays - ultra-energetic particles - that pervade the Galaxy and constantly bombard the Earth. Imaged by the Chandra X-ray.
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