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Intergalactic supernova: Remnant of rare cosmic object may have been spotted outside Milky Way


A ring-shaped object 160,000 light years away may be the first intergalactic supernova remnant ever observed


26 January 2022

New Chandra observations have been used to make the first detection of X-ray emission from young stars with masses similar to our Sun outside our Milky Way galaxy. The Chandra observations of these low-mass stars were made of the region known as the "Wing" of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), one of the Milky Way's closest galactic neighbors. In this composite image of the Wing the Chandra data is shown in purple, optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope is shown in red, green and blue and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope is shown in red. Astronomers call all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium - that is, with more than two protons in the atom's nucleus - "metals". The Wing is a region known to have fewer metals compared to most areas within the Milky Way. The Chandra results imply that the young, metal-poor stars in NGC 602a produce X-rays in a manner similar to stars with much higher metal content found in the Orion cluster in our galaxy.

The remnant of an intergalactic supernova may have been spotted between the Large Magellanic Cloud (pictured) and the Milky Way

Chandra X-ray Observatory

The remains of a star that exploded in intergalactic space, outside the realms of any galaxy, may have been spotted by astronomers for the first time.

Many exploding stars, or supernovae, have been seen across the universe. While most reside inside galaxies, some have been seen outside galaxies. These are known as intergalactic supernovae, and may have ended up there after the stars were thrown from their host galaxies. We …


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