Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 11:57 EDT
Supernova remnant N132D
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Supernova remnant N132D

January 24, 2013
One of the brightest soft X-ray sources in the Large Magellanic Cloud is the supernova remnant N132D. Observations with XMM-Newton's Reflection Grating Spectrometers (RGS), complemented by images taken by the European Photon Imaging Camera (EPIC) have provided highly resolved X-ray spectra of this extended supernova remnant. In the narrow wavelength bands indicated, each EPIC-MOS image maps the distribution of nine different elements. Differences between more and less ionised regions can be noted. Oxygen rich gas is present in an area to the northeastern part of the remnant, where no other elements are emitting X-rays. This may either be relatively cold gas, or is the result of the supernova shockwave interacting with oxygen-rich stellar winds before the stellar explosion. Image courtesy of E. Behar, Columbia Univ., NY, USA.