by ANDY FLEMING
This composite image shows the super bubble DEM L50 (a.k.a. N186) located in the Large Magellanic Cloud about 160,000 light-years from Earth. Super bubbles are found in regions where massive stars have formed in the last few million years. The massive stars produce intense radiation; expel matter at high speeds, and race through their evolution to explode as supernovas. The winds and supernova shock waves carve out huge cavities called super bubbles in the surrounding gas.
X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory are shown in pink and optical data from the Magellanic Cloud Emission Line Survey (MCELS) are coloured in red, green and blue. The MCELS data were obtained with the University of Michigan's 0.9-meter Curtis Schmidt telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). The shape of DEM L50 is approximately an ellipse, with a supernova remnant named SNR N186 D located on its northern edge.
Like another super bubble in the LMC, N44, DEM L50 gives off about 20 times more X-rays than expected from standard models for the evolution of super bubbles. A Chandra study published in 2011 showed that there are two extra sources of the bright X-ray emission: supernova shock waves striking the walls of the cavities, and hot material evaporating from the cavity walls.
Original Source: Marshall Space Flight Centre