36.3 MB (609.7 KB compressed)
3600 x 3523 pixels
30.5 x 29.7 cm ⏐ 12.0 x 11.7 in (300dpi)
NASA / CXC / NCSU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / CXC / NCSU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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