Supernova Remnant W50 seen in Radio
This beautiful structure, unobserved in visible light but detected by the NSF's recently refurbished and re-dedicated Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope, has been produced by powerful events over roughly the last 10,000 years. First, a massive star exploded as a supernova, blasting its debris out into space. That star, now either a superdense neutron star or black hole, is ripping material from a 'normal' companion star with its strong gravitational pull. That material forms a rapidly rotating disk around the neutron star or black hole, and hurls high-velocity jets of particles from the disk's poles. This image shows the supernova debris shell, expanded greatly over the millennia, will a telltale spiral structure caused by the wobbling jets striking the inside of the shell and causing radio waves to be emitted. In this image, green is radio emission seen by the VLA, with white and red being an infrared image from NASA's WISE satellite.
NRAO/AUI/NSF; K. Golap; M. Goss; infrared star field and nebulosity from NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)