News Release Archive:

News Release 321 of 1051

September 9, 2009 11:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2009-25

Hubble Opens New Eyes on the Universe


Video: Supernova Explosion Animation

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This video animation shows the explosion of a supermassive star. Stars greater than eight times the mass of our Sun will self-detonate as supernovae. Supernovae can briefly outshine an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months. During this short interval, a supernova radiates as much energy as the Sun could emit over its life span. The star is shredded and blown into the surrounding interstellar medium. This shock wave sweeps up an expanding shell of gas and dust called a supernova remnant. Hubble Space Telescope spectroscopic observations yield the chemistry cooked up by the supernova, including oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon — the materials of life as we know it.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Selected still images from this video (click to enlarge):

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