Kepler’s Supernova remnant provides possible evidence of explosion

Craig Lloyd - Mar 18, 2013
Kepler’s Supernova remnant provides possible evidence of explosion

Kepler’s Supernova, which is named after German astronomer Johannes Kepler, was one of the more popular supernovas in the visible universe, and it’s one of the more recent supernovas to have been visible to the naked eye at only 20,000 light years away from the Earth. Today, NASA posted up some recent findings of the supernova’s explosion based on remnants.

Observed with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, the remnant of Kepler’s Supernova shows red, green, and blue colors, which represent low, intermediate, and high energy X-rays. It has already been said that the type of explosion was a “Type Ia” supernova, or the thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf star, but there’s an ongoing controversy about these types of explosions.

However, a recent study suggests that the explosion of Kepler’s Supernova was triggered by an interaction between a white dwarf and a red giant star. The evidence from Chandra shows a disk-shaped structure near the center of the supernova’s remnant, and researchers are saying that the explosion was caused by the collision between supernova debris and disk-shaped material that the giant star spit out.

Kepler’s Supernova was first discovered in 1604 by Kepler, and he ended up tracking the supernova for a full year. It was only the second supernova to be observed in a generation, and no further supernovas have since been observed like that within the Milky Way. The remnant left behind is said to be one of a kind, which is why many astronomers have been focusing on it for years.

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