Chandra (X-Ray), Hubble (Optical/Visible) and Radio
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO, Optical: NASA/HST
" Color composite of the supernova remnant
E0102-72: X-ray (blue), optical (green), and radio
(red). E0102-72 is the remnant of a star that exploded
in a nearby galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud.
The galaxy is approximately 210,000 light years
from Earth, so we see the remnant as it was about
210,000 years ago, around two thousand years after
the explosion occurred.
The star exploded outward at speeds in excess of
20 million kilometers per hr (12 million mph) and
collided with surrounding gas. This collision produced
two shock waves, or cosmic sonic booms one
traveling outward, and the other rebounding back
into the material ejected by the explosion.
The radio image was made using the Australia Telescope
Compact Array. The radio waves are due to extremely
high-energy electrons spiraling around magnetic
field lines in the gas and trace the outward moving
The Chandra X-ray image, shown in blue, shows gas
that has been heated to millions of degrees Celsius
by the rebounding, or reverse shock wave. The X-ray
data show that this gas is rich in oxygen and neon.
These elements were created by nuclear reactions
inside the star and hurled into space by the supernova.
The Hubble Space Telescope optical image shows
dense clumps of oxygen gas that have "cooled"
to about 30,000 degree Celsius."
- Information courtesy of the Chandra
X-Ray Observatory. Learn more about the E0102 composite
image from the Chandra