Hubble data shows increase in brightness of knot

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is giving astronomers a ringside seat to a never before seen titanic collision of an onrushing stellar shock wave with an eerie glowing gas ring encircling a nearby stellar explosion, called supernova 1987A.

Though the star's self-destruction was first seen nearly 11 years ago on Feb. 23, 1987, astronomers are just now beginning to witness its tidal wave of energy reaching the "shoreline" of the immense light-year wide ring.

Shocked by the 40-million mile per hour sledgehammer blow, a 100-billion mile diameter knot of gas in a piece of the ring has already begun to "light up", as its temperature surges from a few thousand degrees to a million degrees Fahrenheit.


About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:10 February 1998, 06:00
Size:742 x 932 px

About the Object

Name:LMC SN, SN 1987A
Type:Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Supernova
Distance:170000 light years

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