2D Imaging of the Internal Elemental Structure of Type Ia Supernovae

Supernova explosions enrich the interstellar medium of galaxies with the products of nuclear synthesis formed during the stars lifetime, which then lead to the birth of latter generations of stars and planets with larger fractions of heavy elements such as iron. We are investigating the distribution of iron in the supernova remnants of white dwarf stars, known as Type Ia supernovae, through high-resolution, ultraviolet light imaging using cameras aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. The goal is to gain insight into the processes of these explosions and test models which describe how the explosive burning wave advances from the star's center to its surface leaving behind iron-rich material.