A long-dead star

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures the remnants of a long-dead star. These rippling wisps of ionised gas, named DEM L316A, are located some 160 000 light-years away within one of the Milky Way’s closest galactic neighbours — the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

The explosion that formed DEM L316A was an example of an especially energetic and bright variety of supernova, known as a Type Ia. Such supernova events are thought to occur when a white dwarf star steals more material than it can handle from a nearby companion, and becomes unbalanced. The result is a spectacular release of energy in the form of a bright, violent explosion, which ejects the star’s outer layers into the surrounding space at immense speeds. As this expelled gas travels through the interstellar material, it heats it up and ionise it, producing the faint glow that Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 has captured here.

The LMC orbits the Milky Way as a satellite galaxy and is the fourth largest in our group of galaxies, the Local Group. DEM L316A is not alone in the LMC; Hubble came across another one in 2010 with SNR 0509 (heic1018), and in 2013 it snapped SNR 0519 (potw1317a).

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, Y. Chu

About the Image

Id:potw1630a
Type:Observation
Release date:25 July 2016, 06:00
Size:3966 x 3741 px

About the Object

Name:DEM L316A
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Supernova Remnant
Distance:150000 light years
Constellation:Dorado
Category:Nebulae

Image Formats

Large JPEG
8.9 MB
Screensize JPEG
536.9 KB

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Wallpapers

1024x768
498.6 KB
1280x1024
815.3 KB
1600x1200
1.2 MB
1920x1200
1.5 MB
2048x1536
2.0 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):5 47 19.23
Position (Dec):-69° 41' 42.05"
Field of view:2.62 x 2.47 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 143.9° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
457 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
H-alpha
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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