2019-10-30 Research News

On October 17 the Chandra X-ray Observatory released an updated image of the supernova remnant known as Tycho. Supernova remnants, the aftermath of a stellar explosion, are key to understand how stars end their lives, and how physical elements are synthetized and distributed in the galaxy. The new image, besides being visually striking, contains important clues to understand the explosion physics. Two papers are introduced in the text of the image release. The first paper, Sato et al 2019 (Genus Statistic Applied to the X-ray Remnant of SN 1572: Clues to the Clumpy Ejecta Structure of Type Ia Supernovae), used a new image analysis technique to mathematically characterize the clumpiness of the ejecta. The second paper, Ferrand et al 2019 (From the supernova to the supernova remnant: the three-dimensional imprint of a thermonuclear explosion), presented 3D numerical simulations made from a physically-motivated supernova explosion model. Both works conclude that part of the irregularities visible on the image, at an age of about 450 yr, were actually present from the very beginning. The two teams are now collaborating on the image analysis for the comparison of observations with models. Related work is also on-going with other colleagues at Rikkyo University.

The 3D printed model on the photo was made from G. Ferrand's simulations.
Credit: RIKEN/G. Ferrand, et al & NASA/CXC/SAO/A. Jubett, N. Wolk & K. Arcand

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