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English: The combined image from the Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observatories of RCW 86 shows the expanding ring of debris that was created after a massive star in the Milky Way collapsed onto itself and exploded. Both the Chandra and XMM images show low energy X-rays in red, medium energies in green and high energies in blue. The Chandra observations focused on the northeast (left-hand) side of RCW 86, and show that X-ray radiation is produced both by high-energy electrons accelerated in a magnetic field (blue) as well as heat from the blast itself (red). Properties of the shell in the Chandra image, along with the remnant's size and a basic understanding of how supernovas expand, were used to help determine the age of RCW 86. The new data revealed that RCW 86 was created by a star that exploded about 2,000 years ago. This age matches observations of a new bright star by Chinese astronomers in 185 A.D. (and possibly Romans as well) and may be the oldest known recordings of a supernova. Supernova explosions in galaxies like ours are rare, and none have been recorded in hundreds of years.
|Date||18 September 2006|
|Source||Chandra X-ray Observatory CXC Operated for NASA by SAO, url=http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2006/rcw86/|
|Author||Chandra: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Utrecht/J.Vink et al. XMM-Newton: ESA/Univ. of Utrecht/J.Vink et al.|
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Scale: Chandra FOV is 38 arcmin across. RA 14h 45m 02.30s | Dec -62° 20' 32.00". Constellation: Circinus. Observation Date: June 15, 2004. Color Code: Energy (Red:0.5-1 keV; Green: 1-1.95 keV; Blue: 1.95-6.6 keV). Instrument: ACIS. Aka: G315.4-2.1.
|This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)
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