NASA / ESA / STSCI / J.HESTER,ASU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / J.HESTER,ASU / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Composite of three colour images of the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant, made by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The orange/red band is the shock wave from the supernova explosion 15,000 years ago interacting with gas in the interstellar medium. The shock wave compresses the gas, causing it to heat up and emit light. The blue streak is thought to be a knot of material emitted by the supernova catching up with the shock front. The high resolution of the HST suggests that the fine structure of the gas is on a scale smaller than the solar system. The images were made at emission wavelengths of hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur.
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