ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) & supernova 1987A. About 160,000 light years from Earth & 35,000 light years wide, the LMC is a smaller companion to our Milky Way galaxy. Many pink nebulae can be seen, notably the massive Tarantula Nebula (NGC 2070) at far left. The bright star just south-west of the Tarantula is SN 1987A, which exploded on 23 February 1987 to become the closest supernova to Earth since 1604. The image was made from photographs taken with the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia on 5 March 1987.
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