Optical image of the supernova 1987a

Optical image of the supernova 1987a

R732/0032

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Caption

Supernova 1987a. Optical image of the area around the Tarantula nebula (top left) in the Large Magellanic Cloud, showing the supernova 1987a. The supernova is the brighter star at bottom right and was discovered on February 23rd 1987. The progenitor star, a blue supergiant, is found at a distance of about 155,000 light years from Earth. In a supernova explosion the star's centre collapses in a few seconds and a wave of energy blows the star apart creating a supernova remnant composed of gas and debris from the original star.

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