The remnant, called W49B, is about a thousand years old, as seen from Earth, and is at a distance about 26,000 light years away.
The supernova explosions that destroy massive stars are generally symmetrical, with the stellar material blasting away more or less evenly in all directions. However, in the W49B supernova, material near the poles of the doomed rotating star was ejected at a much higher speed than material emanating from its equator. Jets shooting away from the star's poles mainly shaped the supernova explosion and its aftermath.
This may be the youngest black hole formed in the Milky Way galaxy, with an age of only about a thousand years, as viewed from Earth. The new results on W49B, which were based on about two-and-a-half days of Chandra observing time, appear in a paper in the Feb. 10, 2013 issue of the Astrophysical Journal. The authors of the paper are Laura Lopez, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz from the University of California at Santa Cruz, Daniel Castro, also of MIT, and Sarah Pearson from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/L.Lopez et al; Infrared: Palomar; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA