News Release Archive:

News Release 423 of 1051

February 22, 2007 10:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2007-10

NASA's Hubble Telescope Celebrates SN 1987A's 20th Anniversary

Technical facts about this news release:

About the Object
Object Name: SN 1987A
Object Description: Supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC)
Position (J2000): R.A. 05h 35m 28s.26
Dec. -69° 16' 13".0
Constellation: Dorado
Distance: Approximately 160,000 light-years (49 kiloparsecs) away
Dimensions: Each single image of the SN 1987A ring is roughly 9 arcseconds wide. At the distance of the LMC, this represents 9.5 light-years (2.9 parsecs).
About the Data
Data Description: The primary image released comes from ACS/HRC data from the HST proposal 10867: R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics).
Instrument: WFPC2 and ACS/HRC
Exposure Date(s): WFPC2: September 24, 1994; February 6, 1998; March 23, 2001 ACS/HRC: January 5, 2003; December 15, 2004; December 6, 2006
Filters: F435W (B), F555W (V), and F625W (R)
About the Image
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, P. Challis, and R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Release Date: February 22, 2007
Color: This image is a composite of many separate exposures made by the WFPC2 and ACS instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope using several different filters. Three filters were used to sample broad wavelength ranges. The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic image. In this case, the assigned colors are:
F435W (B) blue
F555W (V) green
F625W (R) red
Orientation: A String of 'Cosmic Pearls' Surrounds an Exploding Star