Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Expanding Light Echoes of SN 1987A

Bild Note: 0 (0 Votes)

⏴ previousnext ⏵
#83819 by @ 26.01.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
The Expanding Light Echoes of SN 1987A

Can you find supernova 1987A?

It isn't hard -- it occurred at the center of the expanding
bullseye pattern.

Although this stellar detonation was first seen almost two decades ago,
light from it continues to bounce off clumps of
interstellar dust
and be reflected to us today.

These expanding
light echoes
have been recorded in the
above time-lapse movie recorded over four years from the
Blanco 4-meter telescope in

The first image is an image of the
SN 1987A region,
while the next four images were created by subtracting consecutive images,
taken a year apart, and leaving only the difference between the images.

Light echoes can be seen moving out from the position of the supernova.

The SuperMACHO team who recorded the
above light echoes around
supernova 1987A
has also found faint and previously unnoticed
light echoes from two other
LMC supernovas.

Study of these light echoes
has enabled more accurate determinations of the location and date of these two
supernova explosions
that were first visible hundreds of years ago.

Credit & Copyright