Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
Credit & Copyright: David Malin (AAO), AATB
Explanation: The explosion is over but the consequences continue. About eleven thousand years ago a star in the constellation of Vela exploded, creating a strange point of light briefly visible to humans living near the beginning of recorded history. The outer layers of the star crashed into the interstellar medium, driving a shock wave that is still visible today. Different colours in the complex, right moving shock, pictured on the left, represent different energies of impact of the shock front. The star on the left appears by chance in the foreground, and the long diagonal line is also unrelated. Remaining at the centre of the Vela Supernova Remnant is a pulsar, a star as dense as nuclear matter that completely rotates more than ten times in a single second.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.