Supernova remnants

Medusa SN remnant / IC443

Massive stars end their lives with spectacular explosions (supernovae). These explosions enrich the interstellar material with the heavy elements produced in the stars during their lifetime. In addition the strong shock waves of the explosion heat the surrounding interstellar medium to temperatures ranging from ~103 to 107 degrees. Therefore, study of these supernova remnants can reveal information about the latest stages of stellar evolution, nucleosynthesis, physics of shock-waves and the properties of the interstellar medium.

Members of our group lead optical studies of individual supernova remnants in our Galaxy, as well as multiwavelength investigations of the SNR populations in nearby galaxies. These studies are based on data obtained with the Skinakas observatory, other ground based observatories, and the Chandra X-ray observatory.

Our main interests are in the interaction of the shock-front with the ambient ISM, the dependence of the multiwavelength emission of SNRs on their age and local ISM, and their use as a proxy for the current formation rate of massive stars.

Recent selected publications:

  • "A diagnostic tool for the identification of Supernova Remnants", Kopsacheili M., Zezas A., Leonidaki I., 2020, MNRAS, 491, 889
  • "A multiwavelength study of supernova remnants in six nearby galaxies - II. New optically selected supernova remnants", Leonidaki I., Boumis P., Zezas, A., 2013, MNRAS, 429, 189