Astronomers discovered a new type of supernova remnant. Credit: NASA

New Galactic Supernova Remnant Discovered

"We have serendipitously found a large-scale object in our new ASKAP-EMU survey, which we classify as the new Galactic SNR G288.8–6.3."


New Galactic Supernova Remnant Discovered with ASKAP: Unveiling the Secrets of SNR G288.8–6.3

In a significant advancement in the field of astronomy, an international team has chanced upon a new Galactic supernova remnant (SNR) using the Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP). This freshly identified SNR, christened as SNR G288.8–6.3, offers an invaluable look into the mysterious remnants left behind by stellar explosions.

Supernova remnants or SNRs are vast, ever-expanding structures birthed from a supernova explosion’s aftermath. These formations are composed of material propelled from the explosion, combined with interstellar substances swept up by the stellar shockwave. The pivotal role SNRs play in the lifecycle of galaxies has long been recognized. Not only do they disperse heavy elements produced in the supernova, but they also supply the requisite energy to heat the interstellar medium. Furthermore, SNRs are theorized to be the driving force behind the acceleration of galactic cosmic rays.

The discovery, spearheaded by Miroslav D. Filipović from Western Sydney University, was part of the ASKAP-Evolutionary Map of the Universe (EMU) survey. Utilizing 36 ASKAP antennas, the team observed at a central frequency of 943.4 MHz, covering a bandwidth of 288 MHz.


A large supernova remnant

Filipović and his team shared their excitement in their paper, stating, “We have serendipitously found a large-scale object in our new ASKAP-EMU survey, which we classify as the new Galactic SNR G288.8–6.3.”

The distinctiveness of SNR G288.8–6.3 lies in its size, proximity, and characteristics. Spanning a staggering 130 light years, this SNR stands as one of the largest known. Moreover, its location—approximately 4,200 light years from Earth and 456 light years above the Galactic plane—positions it among the nearest Galactic supernova remnants.

Several attributes of SNR G288.8–6.3 provide clues about its history and evolutionary phase. Its spectral index indicates that it belongs to the evolutionary advanced SNR group, possibly in the late adiabatic or radiative phase. Additionally, based on its radio surface brightness and other traits, the remnant is estimated to be around 13,000 years old.

Magnetic field insight

In their research, the team also shed light on the magnetic fields within SNR G288.8–6.3. The shock-compression within this SNR seems potent enough to produce the magnetic fields responsible for the synchrotron emission observed in such remnants. Furthermore, a study of neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) revealed a cavity-like formation, suggesting evidence of a shock-cloud interaction.


To culminate their findings, the team emphasized the necessity for continued research. They advocate for comprehensive polarimetric and multifrequency observations of SNR G288.8–6.3, believing that such endeavors “will enhance our knowledge of this large angular size Galactic object.”

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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