Supernova 1987A

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Chandra X-ray
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Supernova 1987A: A supernova remnant located about 168,000 light years from Earth.
(Credit: Chandra (X-ray): NASA/CXC/Univ. di Palermo/E. Greco; Illustration: INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo/Salvatore Orlando)

Caption: Data from Chandra and NuSTAR provide evidence for the existence of a structure known as a "pulsar wind nebula" at the center of the Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A). A pulsar wind nebula is a cloud of charged particles and magnetic fields created by a rapidly spinning neutron star. If confirmed, this would be the culmination of a decades-long pursuit to find the dense core left behind when the massive star collapsed and then exploded. This supernova event was discovered on February 24, 1987, making it the first captured in the age of telescopes.

Scale: The Chandra image is about 4.2 arcsec (3.5 light years) across.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
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