General, Research, Technology

A snapshot of the wave from a supernova explosion that occurred 30 years ago

Not so long ago we told you about the most powerfulthe supernova explosion and that while dying, these stars throw into the outer space the chemical elements necessary for the development and origin of life. Recently, scientists discovered a wave emanating from a supernova that was closest to our planet and exploded about 30 years ago. Thanks to the work of the new x-ray telescope eRosita, scientists received an image that shows a trace from a supernova explosion. According to observations, such explosions can tell scientists a lot about our universe.

Image taken by eRosita radio telescope

How does eRosita work?

A new generation radio telescope was launched onorbit on July 31 as part of the Russian-German high-energy space observatory called Spektr-RG. The telescope consists of seven Wolter mirror modules, each of which is equipped with 54 gold-plated mirrors. This ensures high sensitivity of the telescope and helps to detect x-rays. Each eRosita module is also equipped with a CCD camera sensor, which provides the instrument with exceptional resolution. After launching into the orbit of our planet, the radio telescope proceeded to observations on October 13. Despite the fact that this happened recently, we can enjoy the results today.

The highly sensitive eRosita radio telescope in person

This is interesting: What is the cosmic web?

The first eRosita shots, according toResearchers allow us to look at the hidden beauty of the universe. Due to the special sensitivity of the telescope, scientists will be able to obtain images of the most distant galaxy clusters from us. So, thanks to the first images taken, astronomers were able to see previously unknown stars in the Milky Way galaxy, as well as traces from a supernova explosion called SN 1987A. Astronomers note that this supernova was closest to the Earth - at a distance of 168 thousand light years and greatly influenced our understanding of the explosions of these massive stars. The initial results of eRosita show the incredible potential of this new generation tool. All seven modules worked to obtain images of the Large Magellanic Cloud and a pair of interacting clusters of galaxies 800 million light-years distant from Earth. They are called Abell 3391 and Abell 3395.

This is what Abell 3391 and Abell 3395 (left) look like in the X-ray range (right)

The image above shows that each suchThe cluster is tens of millions of light years old and contains thousands of galaxies. Together, it looks like a bright little bundle in space. And between the clusters you can see the hot gas that connects the galaxies with each other.

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What is unique about the resulting wave image from a supernova explosion?

Look again at the resulting image (inbeginning of article). In the lower left corner you can see a bird with spread wings. This is a binary system called LMC X-1. It consists of a black hole 10 times the mass of the Sun, and a blue super-giant star, 32 times the mass of our home star. A black hole “picks up” material from the star, creating a flash of x-ray radiation. On the left, in the shape of a bird, is the active core of the galaxy - a supermassive black hole, accreting matter, far behind the Large Magellanic Cloud. In the middle of all this beauty is the brightest star - this is SN 1987A. Moreover, despite the apparent brightness, the data obtained indicate that it fades over time, since the shock wave from the explosion spreads across the galaxy.

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Researchers note that X-rayThe telescope allows astronomers to see a picture of the universe that cannot be obtained with other instruments. Where optical telescopes take pictures of a cluster of galaxies, X-ray telescopes detect large clusters of gas that fills the space between galaxies, and also helps researchers study the structure of the universe and get closer to unraveling the mysteries of dark matter. Astronomers have no doubt that in the future, eROSITA will lead to a breakthrough in understanding the evolution of the energy universe.