Observations of SN1987A at Different Wavelengths

Hubble's optical light observations of Supernova 1987A become even more valuable when they are combined with observations from telescopes that can measure other kinds of radiation from the exploding star. The image shows the evolving images of hot spots from the Hubble Telescope alongside images taken at approximately the same time from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) radio observatory. The X-ray images show an expanding ring of gas, hotter than a million degrees, that has evidently reached the optical ring at the same time as the hot spots appeared. The radio images show a similar expanding ring of radio emission, caused by electrons moving through magnetized matter at nearly the speed of light.


R. McCray (University of Colorado), D. Burrows and S. Park (Pennsylvania State University), and R. Manchester (Australia Telescope National Facility)

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NASA press release
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Release date:19 February 2004, 21:00
Size:560 x 770 px

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