Fading Supernova Is Producing a Spectacular New Light Show

Seventeen years ago, astronomers spotted the brightest stellar explosion ever seen since the one observed by Johannes Kepler 400 years ago. Called SN 1987A, the titanic supernova explosion blazed with the power of 100,000,000 suns for several months following its discovery on Feb. 23, 1987. Although the supernova itself is now a million times fainter than 17 years ago, a new light show in the space surrounding it is just beginning.

Credit:

NASA/ESA, P. Challis, R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and B. Sugerman (STScI

)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo0409a
Type:Observation
Release date:19 February 2004, 21:00
Size:564 x 444 px

About the Object

Name:IRAS 05240-6948, SN 1987A
Type:• Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Supernova
Distance:170000 light years
Constellation:Dorado

Image Formats

Large JPEG
49.5 KB
Screensize JPEG
90.1 KB

Wallpapers

1024x768
103.4 KB
1280x1024
146.0 KB
1600x1200
191.5 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):5 35 27.98
Position (Dec):-69° 16' 11.28"
Field of view:0.04 x 0.03 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.0° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
R
625 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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