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Hubble image of the supernova remnant SN 1987a

Hubble image of the supernova remnant SN 1987a

R732/0038

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Credit

NASA / ESA / STSCI / C.PUN, GSFC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / C.PUN, GSFC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The supernova remnant SN 1987A. Optical images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of the supernova remnant SN 1987a in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The four panels at the bottom show the evolution of the material ejected from the exploding star from February 1994 up to February 1996. The debris from the supernova explosion form now a region about one sixth of a light year across and are expanding at a speed of about 5 million km per hour. The three rings seen in the main image are probably formed by excited gases ejected by the dying star before reaching the supernova stage.

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