KONSTANTINOS KIFONIDIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KONSTANTINOS KIFONIDIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Supernova 1987a explosion (image 2 of 5). Computer simulation of a star exploding as Supernova 1987a 1620 seconds after its core collapsed. Density increases from black through red and orange to white. The supernova shock wave has left a dense shell between the hydrogen and helium layers of the star, with a relatively empty area inwards of it (black). Metals ejected from the core have just reached the shell here. Supernova 1987a was the explosive death of the blue supergiant star Sanduleak -69 202. Work done at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany. See images R732/041-45 for the explosion sequence.
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