LMC SUPERBUBBLE DEM L50
Image Credit & Copyright: Chandra X-ray observatory & Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). CLICK photo for larger image and look below for information and links.
Here’s another one for my southern hemisphere friends. It’s called DEM L50 and it’s located roughly 160,000 light years distant in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) in the constellation Dorado. It’s what’s known as a superbubble and with a diameter of roughly 500 light years it is super indeed.
These superbubbles form in regions where incredible amounts of star formation, thus, massive stars have formed over the past few million years. A few million years doesn’t seem long on the cosmic timescale but as we know, these massive stars are very unstable and burn through their nuclear fuel very fast and end their lives in cataclysmic detonations. When these detonations take place in dense stellar material left over from the birth of those very stars the incredible winds and shock wave from the supernova blow open vast cavities in the gas and dust surrounding them. That’s what we see here; that’s a superbubble. The actual supernova that caused this process is known as SNR N186 D and it’s the flare looking area at the “top” of the structure.
When Chandra imaged this object (as it is an X-ray observatory) it detected 20 times more X-ray emissions than expected from standard superbubble models. The reason was found to be 2 extra x-ray sources in the object; Supernova shock waves striking the walls of the cavity and super-heated material then evaporating from the cavity walls.
NAME: DEM L50, N186, SNR N186D.
WHAT IS IT?: Superbubble where wind and shock waves from the super nova clear out vast cavities in the surrounding gas and dust.
HOW BIG IS IT?: Roughly 500 light years in diameter.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: 160,000 light years.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Dorado in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 04h 59m 49.00s | Dec -70º 10′ 28.00″.
NASA/Harvard Chandra X-ray observatory page for this image: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2013/deml50/
2013 Chandra image collection which contains this image: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/chronological13.html
Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO): http://www.ctio.noao.edu/noao/