The Supernova of 386 AD

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About this Image

This composite radio and X-ray image shows G11.2-0.3, the remnant of a supernova observed by Chinese astrologers in 386 A.D. as a "guest star" in the Nan-tou Asterism. The radio data were obtained by scientists studying this supernova remnant with the NRAO Very Large Array at wavelengths of 20 cm (red) and 3.6 cm (green). The bubble in the remnant's center is greener than the outer shell because a central nebula is being created by a powerful wind coming off the pulsar at almost the precise center of the shell. This pulsar spins 15 times per second and the energetic electrons created by the wind can be seen in the Chandra X-ray Observatory image (blue). This astronomical object is a textbook example of a Type II supernova remnant created by the collapse of a massive star's core into a neutron star. G11.2-0.3 is sometimes called "The Turtle" because of its nearly perfect shell and because the pulsar is moving unusually slow.

Investigator(s):  Mallory Roberts (Eureka Scientific, Inc.) and Cindy Tam (McGill University)

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Technical Data

    Telescope VLA 
    Type of Observation Continuum Observations 
    Band X 
    Wavelength 3.6 cm 
    Frequency 8.4 GHz 
    Center of Image RA: 18:11:30.00, Dec: -19:25:30.00  
    Field of View 0.0917 x 0.0917 degrees  

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