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If you thought space was empty

February 13, 2011

… think again!

APOD from NASA 12 Feb 2011: Simeis 147: Supernova Remnant
Credit & Copyright: Nobuhiko Miki

It’s easy to get lost following the intricate filaments in this detailed mosaic image of faint supernova remnant Simeis 147.

Also cataloged as Sh2-240 and seen towards the constellation Taurus, it covers nearly 3 degrees (6 full moons) on the sky. That corresponds to a width of 150 light-years at the stellar debris cloud’s estimated distance of 3,000 light-years.

The remarkable composite includes image data taken through narrow-band filters to highlight emission from hydrogen and oxygen atoms tracing regions of shocked, glowing gas.

This supernova remnant has an estimated age of about 40,000 years – meaning light from the massive stellar explosion first reached Earth 40,000 years ago.

But this expanding remnant is not the only aftermath. The cosmic catastrophe also left behind a spinning neutron star or pulsar, all that remains of the original star’s core.

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