Jun 11

Supernova SN1987A remnant lights up

Source: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

HST image of SN 1987A showing the brightening ring of supernova debris.
Image credit: Pete Challis (CfA).

In 1987, light from an exploding star in a neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, reached Earth. Named Supernova 1987A, it was the closest supernova explosion witnessed in almost 400 years, allowing astronomers to study it in unprecedented detail as it evolves.

Last Wednesday a team of astronomers announced that the supernova debris, which has faded over the years, is brightening. This shows that a different power source has begun to light the debris, and marks the transition from a supernova to a supernova remnant. (read more)

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