Starry picture

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Supernovae are among the most spectacular events in our Universe. In a very short period, a star gives out energy that is equivalent to the energy given out by a whole galaxy. Unfortunately, our knowledge about the violent processes druing a supernova is still very sketchy. Now, astronomers have put together a portrait of a star in our galaxy that blew up 300 years ago, revealing a supernova with parts of its deepest core hurled into space. The images taken by NASA's newly-launched Chandra X-ray Observatory promise to unravel the violent processes by which giant stars give out heavy elements into space during their death throes ( Astrophysical Journal Letters , Vol 529, No 1)

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