Supernova 1987A

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Supernova 1987A: A supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy that is 160,000 light years from Earth.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/PSU/D.Burrows et al.)

Caption: The Chandra X-ray Observatory image of SN 1987A made in January 2000 shows an expanding shell of hot gas produced by the supernova explosion. This observation and an earlier Chandra observation in October 1999 are the earliest X-ray images ever made of a shock wave following a supernova event. The colors represent different intensities of X-ray emission, with white being the brightest.

Scale: Image is 3 arcsec on a side.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory