Supernova Remnants

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When a star explodes as a supernova, it leaves behind an expanding cloud of debris called a supernova remnant, or SNR. By using computers to simulate the physical laws, astronomers can predict what should happen to these clouds over time.

According to these simulations, supernova remnants should reach a size of about 300 light years after 120,000 years1. Thus, if the universe is billions of years old, there should be many SNRs of this size or greater.

But this doesn't correspond with how many we actually observe, as is shown in the table below2.

Supernova Remnant Stage Observable SNRs predicted for galaxy billions of years old Observable SNRs predicted for galaxy 7,000 years old Number of SNRs actually observed
First 2 2 5
Second 2260 125 200
Third 5000 0 0

The number of observable SNRs corresponds with the number predicted for a 7,000 year old galaxy, and thus supports that the universe is young.

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