Release 849 of 1,153

SN1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Release date: Feb 4, 1999 12:00 AM (EST)
Release type: Hubble Heritage

Glittering stars and wisps of gas create a breathtaking backdrop for the self-destruction of a massive star, called supernova 1987A, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy. Astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere witnessed the brilliant explosion of this star on Feb. 23, 1987.

Shown in this Hubble telescope image, the supernova remnant, surrounded by inner and outer rings of material, is set in a forest of ethereal, diffuse clouds of gas.