This colorful creation was made by combining data from two of NASA's Great Observatories. Optical data of SNR 0509-67.5 and its accompanying star field, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, are composited with X-ray images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The result shows soft green and blue hues of heated material from the X-ray data surrounded by the glowing pink optical shell, which shows the ambient gas being shocked by the expanding blast wave from the supernova. Ripples in the shell's appearance coincide with brighter areas of the X-ray data.
The Type Ia supernova that resulted in the creation of SNR 0509-67.5 occurred nearly 400 years ago for Earth viewers. The supernova remnant and its progenitor star reside in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth. The bubble-shaped shroud of gas is 23 light-years across and is expanding at more than 11 million miles per hour (5,000 kilometers per second).
Data from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys, taken in 2006 with a filter that isolates light from glowing hydrogen, were combined with visible-light images of the surrounding star field that were taken with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 in 2010. These data were then merged with X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory taken with the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) in 2000 and 2007.