Zoom on SN1987A

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope have for the first time obtained a three dimensional view of the distribution of the innermost material expelled by a recently exploded star, known as Supernova 1987A (or SN 1987A). The original blast was not only powerful, according to the new results. It was also more concentrated in one particular direction. This is a strong indication that the supernova must have been very turbulent, supporting the most recent computer models.

SN 1987A lies in the Large Magellanic Cloud, 165 000 light-years from Earth. This video zooms into images of SN 1987A as seen with ESO telescopes, and finally fades into an artist’s impression that shows the different elements present in SN 1987A: two outer rings, one inner ring and the deformed, innermost expelled material.


ESO. Music: John Dyson (from the album "Moonwind")

About the Video

Release date:4 August 2010, 12:00
Related releases:eso1032
Duration:01 m 08 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Name:SN 1987A



Large QT
18.0 MB


Video Podcast
12.9 MB
Medium MPEG-1
24.8 MB
Medium Flash
15.2 MB


Small Flash
7.0 MB
Small QT
4.4 MB

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