ROYAL GREENWICH OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL GREENWICH OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supernova explosion. False-colour optical image of the supernova SN 1993J in the spiral galaxy M81. M81's nucleus is the large object at top centre; the supernova is the star below & slightly to the right of it. It was discovered on 28 March 1993; this image was taken the day after. A supernova marks the end of the life of a massive star. In a few days the star may reach a brightness equal to that produced by billions of stars. The progenitor star of SN 1993J seems to be a red supergiant. The image was taken with the Kapteyn telescope at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, Canary Islands.
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