Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astronomers find youngest supernova remnant in milky way

15.05.2008
An international team of astronomers have found the youngest known supernova remnant in the Galaxy. Using observations made with the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in the US and the orbiting Chandra X-ray observatory, the scientists report that the remnant, G1.9+0.3, is just 150 years old. University of Cambridge scientist Dr Dave Green and colleagues discuss the discovery in a paper to be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

A supernova remnant (SNR) is the material ejected by a supernova, the explosion at the end of the life of a star much more massive than the Sun. In our own Galaxy, the Milky Way, there are about 250 known SNRs and up to now the youngest was thought to be about 340 years old.


Scientists including Dr Green and Dr Stephen Reynolds of North Carolina State University compared an X-ray image of G1.9+0.3 made using the Chandra satellite in 2007 with a radio image made with the VLA in 1985. They found that the SNR expanded considerably over the two decades, indicating it is very young. But the team were not sure whether some of the differences between the X-ray and radio images of G1.9+0.3 simply arose from comparing images made at very different frequencies from very different instruments.

To check their result, the team used the VLA to observe the SNR for a second time so that a direct comparison could be made with the 1985 image. The new observations confirm that G1.9+0.3 is expanding at an unprecedented rate, increasing its size by 15% in the intervening 23 years. Extrapolating backwards in time confirms G1.9+0.3 to be at most 150 years old, which makes it easily the youngest known SNR in our Galaxy and the only one that has been seen at such an early stage of its evolution. Another property of G1.9+0.3 that marks it out as unusual is that, uniquely among Galactic SNRs, it appears to have been increasing in radio brightness over the last few decades.

Although the distance to G1.9+0.3 is not known precisely, it is probably near the centre of our Galaxy. The SNR is obscured by a large amount of gas and dust, which means that Victorian astronomers would not have been able to see the explosion when it took place in the 1850s. Today scientists can observe the X-ray and radio emission from the ongoing aftermath of the explosion, as these penetrate the obscuring material.

Dr Green is delighted to have found such a young SNR. He comments "The discovery that G1.9+0.3 is so young is very exciting. It fits into a large gap in the known ages of supernova remnants, and since it is expanding so quickly, we will be able to follow its evolution over the coming years.”

Robert Massey | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ras.org.uk
http://chandra.harvard.edu/
http://www.nrao.edu/index.php/news/pressresources

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion
16.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire

nachricht NASA keeps watch over space explosions
16.11.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>