News Release Archive:

News Release 285 of 1051

September 2, 2010 02:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-30

New Hubble Observations of Supernova 1987A Trace Shock Wave


Image: Shocked Region Around SN 1987A

Shocked Region Around SN 1987ASTScI-PRC2010-30a

Screen-use options: These files are created for viewing on your monitor

Highest-quality download options: The best resolution available


This image shows the entire region around supernova 1987A. The most prominent feature in the image is a ring with dozens of bright spots. A shock wave of material unleashed by the stellar blast is slamming into regions along the ring's inner regions, 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.

Object Name: SN 1987A

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, K. France (University of Colordo, Boulder), and P. Challis and R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)