The collapse of a massive star and the resulting supernova explosion are dramatic events which both complete the stellar life cycle and regulate the structure of the Galaxy's interstellar medium. However, we don't yet fully understand how stars explode; constraints on the many complicated processes which occur during core collapse or thermonuclear detonation are desperately needed. Since we rarely see a nearby star go supernova, our focus is on studying the aftermaths of supernova explosions, namely supernova remnants. By observing this diverse class of objects, we can infer properties of the supernova, the progenitor star, and the progenitor's surroundings. We combine these observations with hydrodynamical models to gain new insight into the micro- and macro-physics of the supernova process, on the properties of supernova progenitors, and on the mechanisms which produce the diversity we see in Galactic supernova remnants.
Dan Patnaude, Patrick Slane, Fred Seward, Paul Plucinsky, Paul Gorenstein, Terrance Gaetz, Kelly Korreck