Puppis A, a faint SNR


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This image is a fragment of the medium-aged Supernova Remnant (SNR) Puppis A. It is located 7,000 light years away in the constellation Puppis, very close to the northern border of a famous SNR, the Vela SNR. The strange and attractive shapes that this SNR has taken are due to the fact that the expelled gases have expanded in a previously non-homogeneous interstellar medium. As is usual with SNRs, there is a neutron star as the remnant of the central star that exploded about 5,000 years ago. This remnant, the neutron star RX J0822-4300, was considered, for many years since its discovery, an extremely fast receding compact object, thought to be flying away at a speed of 1,500 km/s, 0.5% of the speed of light. For this reason, it was known as the Cosmic Cannonball. But in 2012, an article by Becker at al.  determined that the real speed was 672 ± 115 km/s, what allowed to find a more reasonable mechanism for its movement characteristics. This pulsar is located just a couple of arc seconds outside the right border of this cropped image, but it is way too faint in visible wavelengths to be captured with this equipment, as it emits mainly in X-ray frequencies. It did not appear in the uncropped Halpha master. During the 1970s and 1980s some authors proposed that about 800 years ago there was another supernova explosion in the same region, but this has not been proved so far.  The image was taken with narrowband filters (3 nm Halpha and OIII) and color mapped to natural colors.


Additional Information


Name(s): Puppis A SNR

Type: Supernova Remnant

RA:  08h 24m 29s

Dec: -42º 52’ 19”

Constellation: Puppis

Size (arcmin): about 120×120 arc min

Magnitude: ND

Distance: 7,000 light years


Date: 2023-02-19 to 2023-02-27

Location: Obstech, Río Hurtado, Chile

Size (arcmin): 34×27 arcmin

Telescope: 24” f/6.5 Reflector

Camera: QHY 461 (11760x8896pix)

Guiding: off-axis guider

Total exposure: 45h 40m (Ha: 22h 40m; OIII: 20h; RGB: 3h)

Processing: CCDStack, PixInsight (one process) and Photoshop CC 2023

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