Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

September 13, 1999
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Supernova Remnant N132D in X-Rays
Credit: Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA

Explanation: Thousands of years after a star explodes, an expanding remnant may still glow brightly. Such is the case with N132D, a supernova remnant located in the neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. The expanding shell from this explosion now spans 80 light-years and has swept up about 600 Suns worth of mass. The bright regions surrounding the lower right of this X-ray image result from a collision with an even more massive molecular cloud. Towards the upper left, the supernova remnant expands more rapidly into less dense region of space. This image is one of the first ever taken with the High Resolution Camera onboard the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, and records details being analyzed for the first time.

Tomorrow's picture: Colorful Orion

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.