N49- One of the most extraordinary events in all of Astronomy is the inevitable violent death of massive stars. What is known as a supernova, this event is the very reason why you and I are alive right now. Because massive stars explode violently, the heavy elements they have fused deep within the star are hurtled through space at incredible speeds. Located 160,000 light years away, within the Large Magellanic Cloud, N49 did just that; explode through a core-collapse supernova. We are able to detect x-rays, seen in blue, as well as view N49 through infrared. The reason we can see this supernova in x-ray is because of the million degree gas located in the center. Infrared is seen in wavelengths that are third longest, only to radio and microwaves. Slightly smaller wavelengths than infrared result in visible light, what you and I see at this very moment. It is also worth noting that something called a magnetar exists in the center of this explosion. It is the solid neutron core of a dead, high-mass star. It is rotating at an unbelievable speed. Try hundreds of times per second!! It emits powerful electromagnetic radiation in the form of x-rays and gamma-rays.

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Posted on Monday, 18 June
Tagged as: space science astronomy neutron star supernova magnetar N49 large magellanic cloud
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