Light echoes from SN 1987A

This image, taken with NTT and EMMI in January 1992, shows light echoes from supernova SN 1987A. The light echoes are seen as two concentric rings on the interstellar matter around the exploded star. Since the outburst of SN 1987A, light echoes have been used as an efficient way of studying the structure of the interstellar medium close to the supernova. SN 1987A, detected in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud, was the closest explosion of this kind for several centuries, the first visible by naked-eye for 383 years and definitely an event of the greatest relevance in modern astronomy. ESO telescopes have been observing this object for more than twenty years.

More information in ESO Messenger 67, p37: http://www.eso.org/sci/publications/messenger/archive/no.67-mar92/messenger-no67.pdf

Credit:

ESO

About the Image

Id:12_sn-1987a_cc
Type:Observation
Release date:12 March 2010, 18:51
Size:2856 x 2770 px

About the Object

Name:SN 1987A
Type:• Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Supernova
• X - Stars
Distance:170000 light years

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