The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a detailed image of a supernova remnant called DEM L 249.
DEM L 249, also known as SNR J053605-703826, CAL 61 and RX J0536.1-7039, is located in the constellation of Mensa.
The object resides within the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way only 160,000 light-years from Earth.
“The Large Magellanic Cloud is an ideal natural laboratory where astronomers can study the births, lives, and deaths of stars, as this region is nearby, oriented towards Earth, and contains relatively little light-absorbing interstellar dust,” Hubble astronomers said.
DEM L 249 is thought to have been created by a Type Ia supernova during the explosion of a white dwarf.
“While white dwarfs are usually stable, they can slowly accrue matter if they are part of a binary star system,” the researchers explained.
“This accretion of matter continues until the white dwarf reaches a critical mass and undergoes a catastrophic supernova explosion, ejecting a vast amount of material into space in the process.”
The color image of DEM L 249 is a composite of separate exposures acquired by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument.
Several filters were used to sample various wavelengths.
The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.
“The Hubble/ WFC3 data were obtained during a systematic search of the Large Magellanic Cloud for the surviving companions of white dwarf stars which have gone supernova,” the scientists said.
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