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Infrared and Iron
March 20, 2013

Composite image of Kepler supernova remnant

This composite image shows Spitzer infrared emission in pink and Chandra X-ray emission from iron in blue. The infrared emission is very similar in shape and location to X-ray emission (not shown here) from material that was expelled by the giant star companion to the white dwarf before the latter exploded. This material forms a disk around the center of the explosion as shown in the labeled version. This composite figure also shows a remarkably large and puzzling concentration of iron on the left side of the center of the remnant but not the right. The authors speculate that the cause of this asymmetry might be the "shadow" in iron that was cast by the companion star, which blocked the ejection of material. Previously, theoretical work has suggested this shadowing is possible for Type Ia supernova remnants.

Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/NCSU/M.Burkey et al; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

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