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Mixed Morphology SNRs

Evolutionary models of supernova remnants (SNRs) generally predict shell-like morphologies for these sources at all wavelengths. In these models, the radio emission from SNRs originates from electrons that have been accelerated to nearly the speed of light and thus emit light at radio frequencies through a process known as synchrotron radiation. Complementing the radio emission, X-ray emission from SNRs is produced by gas shock-heated to millions of degrees that subsequently cools by emitting high energy light. However, a particular class of sources known as the “mixed-morphology" SNRs have been observed which run counter to these models. While these SNRs feature the shell-like radio morphology expected from SNRs, the observed X-ray morphology is not shell-like but instead center-filled. In fact, the X-ray emission from mixed-morphology SNRs arises from shock-heated gas as expected - it just appears to be in the wrong location! Working with undergraduate students, Professor Pannuti has analyzed observations made of these particular sources at X-ray, infrared and radio wavelengths: his interests in mixed-morphology SNRs include the effects of their interactions with surrounding molecular clouds in dictating their unusual morphologies and the spectral properties of their X-ray emission.