Remnants of the Day

Remnants of the Day

Remnants of the Day

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Oct. 4 2005 10:47 AM

Remnants of the Day

I've always been a sucker for supernova remnants.

When a massive star reaches the end of its life, the core collapses and releases vast amounts of energy. The explosion tears the star apart, and after years -- sometimes hundreds or even thousands of years-- the result is an ethereal, wispy cloud of gas whose fate is to merge with the gas and dust that lies between the stars.

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The Hubble Space Telescope Heritage team just released this image of a remnant in a nearby galaxy.

There's a huge amount of science and interesting things to talk about in pictures like this. But this time, I'll just say that it's awfully pretty, isn't it?