ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / AATB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / AATB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Optical image of the Vela supernova remnant (SNR), a roughly circular shell of fine luminous gas filaments about 1500 light years from Earth. Almost at centre of the shell is pulsar 0833-45, a rapidly spinning neutron star which is believed to be the remains of a star that exploded some 12,000 years ago. This image was obtained by combining 3 photos taken at different wavelengths by the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia; it revealed a faint blue rim, of unknown cause, which lies just outside the brighter red glow of the filaments.
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