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G347.3-0.5: Two supernova remnants for which their stellar explosions may have been witnessed by ancient astronomers.
(Credit: Chandra: NASA/CXC/SAO/P.Slane et al.; XMM-Newton: ESA/RIKEN/J.Hiraga et al.)

Caption: These images of two supernova remnants, G347.3-0.5 (left) and RCW 86 (right), show the result of combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton. In each image, XMM-Newton has obtained data from a much wider field-of-view, while Chandra has been used to concentrate on key areas of interest to researchers (outlined in the boxes). RCW 86 may be the one of the earliest stellar explosions ever recorded, observed by Chinese astronomers (and perhaps the Romans) in 185 AD. There is evidence that the explosion that created G347.3-0.5 was also recorded by the Chinese, but two centuries later in 393 A.D.

Scale:Image is 49 arcmin across.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory