Astronomers have discovered an unusual supernova that exploded not inside the disk of the Milky Way, but at a great distance above it.
The Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the help of the Spektr-RG observatory has discovered one of the most unusual traces of a type I supernova explosion in the Milky Way.
The authors of the new work studied the images taken at the Spektr-RG observatory and found a luminous round object on one of them. Its apparent radius is about eight times that of the Moon.
After a detailed study of the image, astronomers concluded that this is a nebula located at a distance of 10 thousand light years from the Sun. It arose as a result of a type I supernova explosion about 40 thousand years ago. The object was named G116.6-26.1.
The supernova is located above the plane of the Milky Way – at a distance of 4 thousand light years. It is noted that supernova remnants have not yet been observed so high above the plane of our galaxy.
The authors note that this discovery provides a unique opportunity to study how the outskirts of the Milky Way are arranged, and to find out the properties of local gas reserves while observing how a shock wave generated by a thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf interacts with them.
It is hoped that a detailed study of the gas in the central part of the supernova remnant will reveal clusters of iron ions with a mass of the sun, which were synthesized in the course of a thermonuclear explosion and the death of a white dwarf. Perhaps we will be able to understand how and for what time the mixing of this iron plasma with the environment occurs.
Rashid Sunyaev, scientific supervisor of the Russian part of the Spectra-RG