NASA / JPL-CALTECH / B. WILLIAMS (NCSU) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CALTECH / B. WILLIAMS (NCSU) / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
RCW 86 supernova remnant, composite image. This 85-light-year-wide shell of expanding gas and dust is thought to have been created by SN 185. This Type Ia supernova occurred in 185 AD, leaving behind a white dwarf. It is 8200 light years from Earth, in the constellation of Circinus. This composite image combines X-ray (blue and green, supernova shockwave) and infrared (yellow and red, warm dust). X-ray data: Chandra X-ray Observatory (ACIS) and the XMM-Newton Telescope (EPIC). Infrared data: Spitzer Space Telescope (MIPS) and WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Mission). Image published 2011.
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