In February 1987, light from an exploding star arrived at Earth after traveling across 160,000 light-years of space. It was the closest supernova humanity had seen in centuries. Thirty-two years later, the light of the supernova itself has faded, but astronomers continue to study its remains for clues about how stars live and die. Scientists will use NASA's James Webb Space Telescope to observe Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A), as it is known, in order to gain new insights into the physics of the explosion and its aftermath.
Astronomers combined observations from three different observatories (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, red; Hubble, green; Chandra X-ray Observatory, blue) to produce this colorful, multiwavelength image of the intricate remains of Supernova 1987A.
Credits: NASA, ESA, and A. Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
Read more: go.nasa.gov/2tMNQjw
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.
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