It’s Wednesday, so that means its time for another “Where In The Universe” challenge to test your visual knowledge of the cosmos. See if you can name where in the Universe this image is from, and give yourself extra points if you can name the spacecraft responsible for the image. Make your guess and post a comment. Check back sometime on Thursday to find the answer and see how you did. And remember, no posting links to the answer!! (that’s for RapidEye, who needed a reminder….)
UPDATE: The answer has now been posted below.
Ah yes, this is SN 1987A. Taken by….Hubble. Twenty years ago, astronomers witnessed one of the brightest stellar explosions in more than 400 years. The titanic supernova, called SN 1987A, blazed with the power of 100 million suns for several months following its discovery on Feb. 23, 1987. Observations of SN 1987A, made over the past 20 years by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and many other major ground- and space-based telescopes, have significantly changed astronomers’ views of how massive stars end their lives.
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This Hubble telescope image shows the supernova’s triple-ring system, including the bright spots along the inner ring of gas surrounding the exploded star. A shock wave of material unleashed by the stellar blast is slamming into regions along the inner ring, heating them up, and causing them to glow. The ring, about a light-year across, was probably shed by the star about 20,000 years before it exploded.
If you enjoyed this one, come back again next week for another WITU Challenge.