EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Supernova remnant. X-ray image of supernova remnant (SNR) G21.5-0.9. An SNR is the expanding shell of material ejected by a supernova, a huge explosion that occurs when a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel. It emits X-rays as it becomes heated during ejection. The source seen at lower right (green) is thought to be a foreground binary system containing two stars held in orbit around each other. The G21.5-0.9 data are a calibration source for X-ray observations made by the European Space Agency XMM-Newton satellite, launched in 1999.
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