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Supernova 1987A. Taken by Hubble Space Telescope in 1995. The glowing debris of the explosion is at the center of the inner ring. The outer rings were already there at the time of the explosion, but they're visible as they reflect the light from the supernova. (Credit: George Sonneborn (Goddard Space Flight Center), Jason Pun (NOAO), the STIS Instrument Definition Team, & NASA/ESA) Mona Evans, "Galactic Winter Games"

Bright Supernova in M82. (Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona) The arrow points to supernova SN 2014J. It was discovered at the University of London's Mill Hill Observatory by Dr. Steve Fossey and a group of astronomy students on January 21. It's one of the closest supernovae to us in recent decades and is visible in 4-inch telescopes.


Chandra Celebrates the International Year of Light

2015 is the International Year of Light (IYL). NASA's Chandra X-ray Center is releasing astronomical images that combine data from different light wavelengths. (X-rays are a high-energy form of light.) This image is supernova remnant SNR 0519-69.0 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The blue is the X-ray data from gas at millions of degrees. The red at the outer edge of the explosion and the stars are in visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope. (Image Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO)

Ripples in Perseus. Artist's illustration depicting the sound waves (ripples) in the hot gas that fills the Perseus cluster. These sound waves are thought to have been generated by cavities blown out by jets from a supermassive black hole (bright white spot) at the center of the Perseus cluster. (Illustration: NASA/NASA/CXC/M.Weiss) Mona Evans, "Does Sound Travel in Space?"


Chandra Captures X-Ray Echoes Pinpointing Distant Neutron Star

Circinus X-1. A light echo in X-rays detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided a rare opportunity to precisely measure the distance to an object on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy. The rings exceed the field-of-view of Chandra’s detectors, resulting in a partial image of X-ray data. (Credits: NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz)

Pulsar Diagram. A pulsar is a rapidly spinning neutron star. It's a sphere composed mostly of neutrons, approximately 10 miles in diameter, but with 40 percent more mass than the Sun. As it spins it emits beams of radio waves and other forms of radiation. These beams sweep across space and may appear as though the pulsar is switching 'on' and 'off,' much like a lighthouse. (Credit: NRAO)

Hoag's Object. A ring galaxy in which there is a central core of older yellow stars with a ring of young blue stars. The formation of a galaxy like this probably involves a galactic collision. Look through the gap at one o'clock to see another ring galaxy in the distance. (Credit: R. Lucas (STScI/AURA), Hubble Heritage Team, NASA) Mona Evans, "Galactic Winter Games"

Perspective view of "snow"-covered slopes of Enceladus. This heavily fractured terrain lies north of the edge of the active south polar region. [Credit: NASA/ Processing by Paul Schenk (Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston)] Mona Evans, "Galactic Winter Games"

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A month in space: a champagne supernova in the sky (or rather the W49B) – in pictures

A champagne supernova? This is W49B, a supernova remnant. A composite imagine made of X-rays from Chandra (blue & green), radio data from the VLA (pink) and infrared data from Palomar Observatory (yellow). Most supernovae from the deaths of massive stars are symmetrical and produce neutron stars. This one is distorted and there is evidence that it produced a black hole. (Chandra X-ray Observatory Center/Nasa)

Europa. This Jovian moon, covered in ice, is one of the smoothest objects in the Solar System. In this picture you can see that there are also cracks and streaks. It looks a bit as if giants have been skating on it. (Photo: NASA's Galileo mission) Mona Evans, "Galactic Winter Games"

Circinus Pulsar in X-rays.. A rapidly spinning, magnetized neutron star. It's the remnant of a massive star that ended its life in a supernova explosion. The pulsar is in the area where you see the bright emission near the center of the image. The green is X-ray emission from shock-heated gas produced by debris from the supernova. (Photo: Credit: B. Gaensler et al., MIT, NASA)

The brightest quasar in the early universe, powered by the most massive black hole yet known at that time. Discovered by a team led by astronomers from Peking University in China & from the University of Arizona announce. This is an artist's impression of a quasar with a supermassive black hole - you couldn't actually see the black hole, of course. (Credit: Zhaoyu Li/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Misti Mountain Observatory) Mona Evans, "Quasar Facts for Kids"…