Zooming in on a Light Echo (Annotated)

About this video
Duration: 1 minute

This video sequence takes the viewer into the nearby starburst galaxy M82, where a shell of light surrounding an exploding star is moving through interstellar space.

The light was emitted from supernova SN 2014J, which was first observed in January 2014. Nearly three years later, light from the blast can still be seen reverberating off of interstellar dust clouds — an effect called a light echo.

The sequence begins with the constellation Ursa Major, where the M82 galaxy resides. Then the view zooms up on the cigar-shaped M82 galaxy. Moving inside M82, the video ends with a shell of light expanding outward from the supernova blast and is repeated several times.

M82 is located 11.4 million light-years away.

Active Galaxies/Quasars, Galaxies, HD Video, Scientific Visualizations, Supernovae, UHD Video


NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon, J. DePasquale, and Z. Levay (STScI);
Acknowledgment: Y. Yang (Texas A&M/Weizmann Institute of Science)

Publication: November 9, 2017

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