THE PRECISE DETAILS of how massive stars explode at the end of their lives – a process known as a supernova – remains one of the biggest questions in astrophysics.
Located in the neighbouring galaxy of the Small Magellanic Cloud, this false-colour image shows the aftermath of such a supernova – an enormous, expanding debris cloud called a supernova remnant.
Known only by its catalogue number, SNR B0049-73.6, it provides astronomers with an excellent example with which to study the after effects of a supernova. Chandra observations of the motions and composition of the debris from the explosion support the view that the explosion was produced by the collapse of the core of a star.
More information and downloadable wallpapers images: nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/multimedia/small-magellanic-cloud-supernova-remnant.html
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