Supernova Remnants
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Supernova Remnants

July 19, 2010
The Gemini South Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) recently captured a dramatic image of a vast cloud complex named DEM L316, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy. The peanut-shaped nebula appears to be a single object, but the latest research indicates that it is really comprised of two distinct gas and dust clouds formed by different types of supernova explosions.

The image reveals the intricate tendrils of gas and dust located in the remnants of the stellar explosions that created the still-expanding cloud complex. The object was first recognized in the early 1970s as a supernova remnant, a type of object that is enriched with elements created in stellar explosions. The nebula was likely created a few tens of thousands of years ago by more than one type of supernova exploding in the region of the Large Magellanic Cloud.

More about Gemini The Gemini Observatory consists of twin eight-meter optical/infrared telescopes located on two of the best sites on our planet for observing the universe. Together, these telescopes can access the entire sky.

The Gemini South telescope is located at almost 9,000 feet on a mountain in the Chilean Andes called Cerro Pachon. The Frederick C. Gillett Gemini North Telescope is located on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, as part of the international community of observatories that have been built to take advantage of the superb atmospheric conditions on this long dormant volcano that rises almost 14,000 feet into the dry, stable air of the Pacific.

Gemini was built and is operated by a partnership of seven countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Australia, Brazil and Argentina. Any astronomer in each partner country can apply for time on Gemini, which is allocated in accordance with the amount of financial support provided by each country. To learn more about Gemini, visit the observatory's Web site Here. (Date of Image: January 2008)

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