Panning Across M83 with MIRI

This video pans across an image of the barred spiral galaxy M83 as seen by the MIRI instrument aboard JWST. A few days ago I posted a similar video of M83 as seen by JWST’s NIRCam.

Video Credits: ESA / NASA / CSA / A. Adamo (Stockholm University) /FEAST JWST team /  N. Bartmann (ESA/Webb)
Music: Stellardrone—Twilight
Creative Commons Attribution License

If We Could See IR

M83VisibleandIRj.pgThe picture on the left is galaxy M83 as we see it in visible light. The image on the right is what it would look like we could see infrared light as well. The visible light image was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile. The infrared image was taken with the HAWK-I instrument on the VLT at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. In infrared the dust that hides many stars is nearly transparent, making the spiral arms less dramatic but revealing a whole host of new stars that are otherwise invisible.

Image Credit: ESO

Messier 83

This video fades between views of Messier 83 in visible light and infrared images captured at European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. The dust that obscures many stars becomes nearly transparent in the infrared image. That image may seem less dramatic, but it shows a swarm of new stars that are otherwise invisible.

Video Credit: ESO / M. Gieles
Acknowledgement: Mischa Schirmer

SN 1975D

In 1957, a supernova named SN 1957D was discovered in the spiral galaxy M83 about 15 million light years from Earth. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has made the first detection of X-rays emitted by the debris from this explosion. It is one of only a few supernovae located outside of the Milky Way galaxy that was detectable in both radio and optical wavelengths decades after its explosion was observed. In 1981, astronomers saw the remnant of the exploded star in radio waves. In 1987, they detected the remnant at optical wavelengths, years after the light from the explosion itself became undetectable.

A relatively short observation (only about half a day) by the Chandra X-ray Observatory in 2000 and 2001 did not detect any X-rays from the remnant of SN 1957D, but a much longer observation in 2010 and 2011 (nearly 8 and 1/2 days) did find X-ray emission. This new Chandra image of M83 is one of the deepest X-ray observations ever made of a spiral galaxy beyond our own. The full-field view above shows the low, medium, and high-energy X-rays observed by Chandra in red, green, and blue respectively.

The new X-ray data from the remnant of SN 1957D provide important information about the nature of this explosion that astronomers think happened when a massive star ran out of fuel and collapsed. The spectrum of  the X-rays suggests that SN 1957D contains a rapidly spinning neutron star. This neutron star or pulsar.If the pulsar in SN 1957D is confirmed, it would be one of the youngest pulsars ever seen.

Image Credit: NASA