Rcw86 420


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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(2006-09-18)
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.


Public domain 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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