A new composite image has been released of a star forming region of NGC1929 in N44/Large Magellanic clouds, where formations called bright superbubbles are releasing unusual amounts of X-rays. The image is the result of a series of observations that have been superimposed on each other – a red layer from the Spitzer space telescope that images in the IR spectrum, a blue layer from the Chandra telescope that images in the X-ray spectrum and finally a optical light yellow layer from the Max-Planck-ESO telescope in Chile.
This star forming region is of interest since bright superbubbles in the LMC give off more X-rays than is normally expected. Normally it is assumed that X-ray emitting gas is produced by winds from massive stars and supernova remnants. A Chandra study from 2011 showed that in addition to these there were two other sources of X-ray emission in N44: supernova shock waves striking the walls of the cavities and hot material evaporating from the cavity walls.
Since Chandra saw no evidence for enhancement of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium in the cavities, this was ruled out as a possible third explanation for the bright emission of X-rays.
The Chandra study of N44 and another superbubble in the LMC was led by Anne Jaskot from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The co-authors were Dave Strickland from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, Sally Oey from University of Michigan, You-Hua Chu from University of Illinois and Guillermo Garcia-Segura from Instituto de Astronomia-UNAM in Ensenada, Mexico.