Supernova Photos: Great Images of Star Explosions

Mystery Object Found in Supernova's Heart

ESA, XMM-Newton, De Luca et al.

This image shows the aftermath of a 2,000-year-old star explosion. In the heart of the central blue dot in this image, smaller than a pinpoint, likely lies a neutron star only about 20 kilometers across. The nature of this object is like nothing detected before.

Hidden Star Explains Supernova Oddity

Gemini South GMOS.S. Ryder/T. Rector.

The supernova SN 2001ig (inset) sits in the outer fringes of the galaxy NGC 7424, seen here in an image taken by the Gemini South Telescope in the constellation Grus.

New Life in Dead Star: Supernova 'Changing Right Before Our Eyes'


This image of SN 1987A combines data from NASA's orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory and the 8-meter Gemini South infrared telescope in Chile. The X-ray light detected by Chandra is colored blue. The infrared light detected by Gemini South is shown as green and red. The ring is produced by hot gas (largely the X-ray light) and cold dust (largely the infrared light) from the exploded star interacting with the interstellar region.

Identity of Puzzling Star Revealed


A Chandra X-ray Observatory image of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, with an artist's impression of the neutron star at the center of the remnant. The discovery of a carbon atmosphere on this neutron star resolves a ten-year old mystery surrounding this object.

The Surprising End to a Supernova

X-ray: NASA/CXC/GFSC/S.Immler & K.Kuntz; Optical: NOAO/AURA/NSF/G.Jacoby, B.Bohannan & M.Hanna

The Chandra image in the inset shows X-rays from SN 1970G, a supernova that was observed to occur in the galaxy M101 35 years ago. The bright cloud in the box in the optical image is not related to the supernova, which is located immediately to the upper right (arrow) of the cloud.

Core of Supernova Goes Missing

P. Challis & R. Kirshner, Harvard-Smithsonian

The remnant of supernova 1987A shows no sign of the neutron star scientists

10-year-old Discovers Exploding Star

David J. Lane

A ten-year-old amateur astronomer became the youngest person to have ever discovered a supernova, after detecting a stellar explosion in the galaxy UGC 3378 within the constellation of Camelopardalis.

Guts of Exploded Star Revealed


A team of astronomers led by the University of Colorado at Boulder are charting the interactions between Supernova 1987A and a glowing gas ring encircling the supernova remnant known as the "String of Pearls." [Full Story

Cosmic Bullet Fired by Exploding Star

NASA/CXC/Penn State/S.Park et al

This annotated image from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory shows N49, the aftermath of a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, and a bullet-like object ejected from the huge star explosion. Full Story.

Star's Corpse Illuminated by High-Energy Wind

X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/T.Temim et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A new image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope shows the dusty remains of a collapsed star. The composite image of G54.1+0.3 shows X-rays from Chandra in blue, and data from Spitzer in green (shorter wavelength infrared) and red-yellow (longer wavelength infrared). Scientists think that a pulsar (the white source in the center) is sending off a wind that is heating up remnant supernova dust.

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