MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artwork of a supernova remnant. When a massive star reaches the end of reactionable nuclear fuel in its core, it explodes in a cosmic blast known as a supernova. Such an explosion, which can temporarily outshine an entire galaxy or normal stars, shatters the star and leaves behind a twisted nebula of brightly shining gases, called a supernova remnant. The Crab Nebula in Taurus is a famous example. The original star's core might survive as a neutron star a super-dense object which has the mass of a star but only the size of a small terrestrial city.
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