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Chandra X-ray
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LHa115-N19: A complex of star formation about 200,000 light years from Earth.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/UIUC/R.Williams et al.; Optical: NOAO/CTIO/MCELS coll.; Radio: ATCA/UIUC/R.Williams et al.)

Caption: With its millions of stars and relatively close proximity, the Small Magellanic Cloud offers astronomers a chance to study phenomena across the stellar life cycle. Chandra peered into a cloud of gas and plasma, known as LHa115-N19 or N19 for short, where stars are forming. The X-rays, overlaid on optical (red) and radio (green) data, show evidence for three supernova explosions in this relatively small region (inset). Furthermore, the Chandra observations suggest that each of these supernova remnants were caused by a similar process: the collapse of a very massive star. There are hints that these stars were members of a so-called OB association, a group of stars that formed from the same interstellar cloud.

Scale: Image is 9.5 arcmin across.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory