Supernova Remnant SNR 0509-67.5 And Its Mystery…..
Photo By: NASA Hubble Space Telescope & Chandra X-ray Observatory.
This beautiful photo of supernova remnant SNR 0509-67.5 (SNR 0509) tends to make one pause and ask, how can something so devastating be so beautiful? Well, assuming you aren’t part of it of course. Residing about 170,000 light years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) (a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way) is an example of a Type 1A supernova, which typically is when a progenitor main sequence star spills material into its white dwarf companion star until it reaches what’s known as the Chandrasekhar Limit at 1.4x the mass of the Sun and it explodes (single-degenerate system) with devastating consequences. Type 1A supernovae are also what’s known as a standard candle as well. That’s because when a type 1A explodes, because of HOW it explodes, you can infer that they are all the same energetic explosions (relatively) thus, have similar intrinsic brightness values, which are then used to measure distances as well as the expansion in the universe.
This remnant however, is somewhat perplexing as after 40 years of research and observations no known progenitor star has been discovered. That’s odd because typically a white dwarf remains as a leftover from the star that passed the material off as evidence that a star was ever there at all. With the spherical structure of this remnant it should have been fairly easy to determine the location of the star. Now it has been theorized that the reason for the lack of a left over star is that two white dwarf stars were in an extremely tight orbit around each other until they collided and subsequently exploded (a double-degenerative system). The supernova is believed to have occurred approximately 400 years ago as we see it though there are no records from any witnesses unfortunately.
The pink bubble that you see in the photo is optical data of the shockwave material becoming exited as it is exploded out into the universe (Hubble). The green/blue interior of the bubble is X-ray data from Chandra.
NAME: Supernova Remnant (SNR) 0509-67.5 or SNR 0509.
WHAT IS IT? : Type 1A Supernova (Double-Degenerative System).
HOW BIG IS IT? : 23 Light Years Across and currently expanding at about 5000 kilometers a second (11 million miles per hour).
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT? : 170,000 light years or 50,000 parsecs.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE? : About 20 (don’t even bother).
WHERE IS IT (General): Satellite Galaxy of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) which is in the constellation Dorado.
WHERE IS IT (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 05h 09m 31s / DEC -67d 31’ 18”.
NASA Hubble Page For This Image: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/supernova-source.html
NASA Hubble Site News Release Article On This Image: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2012/06/image/a/
CHANDRA X-Ray Observatory Page For This Image: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2010/snr0509/