Youngest supernova remnant in the Milky Way found

NASA have just announced that the Chandra X-ray observatory has found the youngest supernova remnant known in our Galaxy, the Milky Way. The supernova, that created it, occurred about 140 years ago but wouldn’t have been observed from Earth due to it being close to the heart of the Milky Way. Here the light from the supernova would have been blocked by thick, dense clouds of gas and dust meaning that it would appear ‘about a trillion times fainter, in optical light, than an unobscured supernova.’

Astronomers have been searching for these young supernova remnants for several years as supernova formation rates suggest that there should be several around. This new discovery will help astronomers refine models for the rate of formation of supernova and also give us an insight into what happens immediately after these violent events occur. You can read the full press release on the Chandra website here.

Above: A composite image of radio and X-ray images of the newly found supernova
(Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/NCSU/S.Reynolds et al.); Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA/Cambridge/D.Green et al.))

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