Image courtesy ESA/NASA
Is it a massive opal? A huge holiday ornament? A multicolored stargate? No, it's the leftover cloud of hot gas and dust created by a star that ended its life in a violent explosion.
The new picture of this cosmic bauble, released Tuesday, combines data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope.
Known as SNR 0509-67.5, the supernova remnant sits about 160,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our own Milky Way galaxy. Chandra's x-ray vision shows the soft greens and blues from hot material, while Hubble's visual-light data reveals the visible, glowing pink shell of gas being superheated by an expanding shock wave.
Published December 15, 2010