Spectacular photos of Supernovae and their remnants
The Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) was used to obtain images of a violent and chaotic-looking mass of gas and dust known as N 63A. This beautiful supernova remnant is roughly 160,000 light-years away. Supernovae are massive stellar explosions that can occur at the end of a star's life cycle. A supernova may radiate more energy in weeks or months than the our sun will produce in its lifetime. NASA/ESA
This striking Chandra X-Ray Observatory image of supernova remnant SNR0103-72.6 reveals a nearly perfect ring about 150 light years in diameter surrounding a cloud of gas enriched in oxygen and shock-heated to millions of degrees Celsius. The ring marks the outer limits of a shock wave produced as material ejected in the supernova explosion collides with the interstellar gas. NASA
Resembling the puffs of smoke and sparks from a summer fireworks display in this image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, these delicate filaments are actually sheets of debris from a stellar explosion in a neighboring galaxy. Hubble's target was a supernova remnant within the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a nearby, small companion galaxy to the Milky Way visible from the southern hemisphere. NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team
At 500,000 kilometers per hour, a supernova shockwave plows through interstellar space. This shockwave is known as the Pencil Nebula, and is part of the Vela supernova remnant, an expanding shell of a star that exploded about 11,000 years ago. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
This artist's concept depicts a type of dead star called a pulsar and the surrounding disk of rubble discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The pulsar, called 4U 0142+61, was once a massive star until about 100,000 years ago when it blew up in a supernova explosion and scattered dusty debris into space. Some of that debris was captured into what astronomers refer to as a 'fallback disk,' now circling the remaining stellar core, or pulsar. Supernovas are a source of iron, nitrogen and other 'heavy metals' in the universe. They spray these elements out into space, where they eventually come together in clouds that give rise to new stars and planets. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt
This is a composite image of N49, the brightest supernova remnant in optical light in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The Chandra X-ray image (blue) shows million-degree gas in the center. Much cooler gas at the outer parts of the remnant is seen in the infrared image from Spitzer (red). While astronomers expected that dust particles were generating most of the infrared emission, the study of this object indicates that much of the infrared is instead generated in heated gas. NASA/CXC/Caltech/S. Kulkarni
A star's spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. Now, almost a thousand years later, a superdense neutron star left behind by the stellar death is spewing out a blizzard of extremely high-energy particles into the expanding debris field known as the Crab Nebula. The neutron star, which has the mass equivalent to the sun crammed into a rapidly spinning ball of neutrons twelve miles across, is the bright white dot in the center of the image. NASA/CXC/J.Hester/ESA/A.Loll/JPL-Caltech/R.Gehrz
The Veil Nebula is the shattered remains of a supernova that exploded thousands of years ago and one of the most spectacular supernova remnants in the sky. The entire shell spans about 3 degrees on the sky, corresponding to about 6 full moons. NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage
A Supernova remnant is seen in this color composite of Spitzer infrared, Chandra X-ray and ground-based Halpha. NASA
The blue wisp near the bottom of this photo is a remnant of a tremendous recent supernova explosion. The large pink structure looming to the upper right is part of N76, a large star forming region in our neighboring Small Magellanic Cloud. Hubble Heritage Team/ESA/NASA
In this artist's rendering the red supergiant supernova progenitor star (l.) is exploding after having transferred about 10 solar masses of hydrogen gas to the blue companion star (r.). Justyn R. Maund/ESA/NASA
Some type of star exploded to create the unusually shaped nebula known as Kepler's supernova remnant. Light from the stellar explosion that created this energized cosmic cloud was first seen on planet Earth in October 1604, a mere four hundred years ago. The supernova produced a bright new star in early 17th century skies within the constellation Ophiuchus. It was studied by astronomer Johannes Kepler and his contemporaries, without the benefit of a telescope, as they searched for an explanation of the heavenly apparition. NASA/NCSU/S. Reynolds
Supernova 1987A occurred in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy only 160,000 light years from Earth. The outburst was visible to the naked eye, and is the brightest known supernova in almost 400 years. Optical hot-spots (pink-white) now encircle the ring like a necklace of incandescent diamonds. The Chandra data (blue-purple) reveals multimillion-degree gas at the location of the optical hot-spots. NASA/CXC/PSU/S.Park/D.Burrows/STScI/CfA/P. Challis
Mounted on the outside of the International Space Station since 2011, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer has detected antimatter within the stream of cosmic rays that appear consistent with our models of dark matter.
The first results from the largest and most complex scientific instrument on board the International Space Station has provided tantalizing hints of nature’s best-kept particle secrets, but a definitive signal for dark matter remains elusive. While the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) has spotted millions of particles of antimatter – with an anomalous spike in positrons — the researchers can’t yet rule out other explanations, such as nearby pulsars.