Shocked Region Around SN 1987A
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Shocked Region Around SN 1987A

June 1, 2012
This image shows the entire region around supernova 1987A. The most prominent feature in the image is a ring with dozens of bright spots. A shock wave of material unleashed by the stellar blast is slamming into regions along the ring's inner regions, heating them up, and causing them to glow. The ring, about a light-year across, was probably shed by the star about 20,000 years before it exploded.

Credit: NASA, ESA, K. France (University of Colordo, Boulder, USA), and P. Challis and R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA)

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