Simeis 147 Supernova Remnant
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Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant

November 29, 2005

It's easy to get lost following the intricate filaments in this detailed image of faint supernova remnant Simeis 147. Seen towards the constellation Taurus it covers nearly 3 degrees (6 full moons) on the sky corresponding to a width of 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud's estimated distance of 3,000 light-years.

The above image is a color composite of 66 blue and red color band images from the National Geographic Palomar Observatory Sky Survey taken with the wide field Samuel Oschin 48-inch Telescope. The area of the sky shown covers over 70 times the area of the full Moon.

This supernova remnant has an apparent age of about 100,000 years - meaning light from the massive stellar explosion first reached Earth 100,000 years ago - but this expanding remnant is not the only aftermath. The cosmic catastrophe also left behind a spinning neutron star or pulsar, all that remains of the original star's core.

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