The explosive death of a star created this debris cloud, Cassiopeia A, still expanding at shock-wave speeds. This photograph combines an optical image taken by Ken Crawford of the Rancho Del Sol Observatory and X-ray images from NASA's orbiting X-ray telescope NuSTAR, the first telescope to create focused images of high-energy X-rays. Via apod.nasa.gov.

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The Light That Remains

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Supernova remnant

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~~Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A (NASA, Chandra) ~ for the first time, a multiwavelength three-dimensional (3-D) reconstruction of a supernova remnant has been created. This stunning visualization of Cassiopeia A (Cas A), the result of an explosion approximately 330 years ago by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center~~

Globular star cluster Messier 9 (M9) has over 300,000 stars within a diameter of about 90 light-years. It is 25,000 light-years from Earth, near the central bulge of our Milky Way galaxy in the constellation of Sagittarius. Imagine the night sky on a planet orbiting one of these stars!

The immense Coalsack Nebula is a molecular cloud in the constellation Crux, about 600 light-years away from Earth. Below it in this image is the Dark Doodad Nebula in the constellation Musca. It is about 700 light-years from Earth. Behind it, about 20,000 light-years from Earth, is the globular star cluster NGC 4372.

NGC 6745 used to be a typical spiral galaxy. But that was hundreds of millions of years ago. Since then it has been interacting with a nearby smaller galaxy (a portion of which is seen in the lower right of this image), contorting its appearance. NGC 6745 spans about 80 thousand light years and is about 200 million light years away from Earth toward the constellation Lyra.

The first astronomical object cataloged by Charles Messier, M1 is perhaps better known as the Crab Nebula. It's a supernova remnant; its massive explosion visible to skygazers in the year 1054. At its center is a rapidly rotating pulsar - a neutron star - located about 6,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus.

SN 1006, a supernova remnant that lit up Earth's night skies in the year 1006 A.D. Located in the constellation Lupus, it is about 7,000 light-years from Earth.

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Space is not empty. The sky toward the constellation Pegasus includes stars of our Milky Way galaxy, vast integrated flux dust clouds a mere 1,000 light years from Earth, and distant galaxies. Near image center is the spiral galaxy NGC 7497, 60 million light years away.

M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy in Dust and Stars - APOD - NASA

LL Ori and the Orion Nebula - APOD - NASA

Clearly visible in the night skies of the southern hemisphere is the Large Magellanic Cloud. It is the largest satellite dwarf irregular galaxy of our own Milky Way, about 160,000 light-years from Earth and itself spanning 15,000 light-years. It is home to some of the largest star-forming regions in the Local Group of galaxies. The largest such region (left of center) in this image is 30 Doradus - the Tarantula Nebula.

A region of glowing gas in the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way galaxy, NGC 3576 is located about 9,000 light years from Earth. Such nebulas present a tableau of the drama of the evolution of massive stars, from the formation in vast dark clouds, their relatively brief (a few million years) lives, and the eventual destruction in supernova explosions. The diffuse X-ray data detected by Chandra (blue) are likely due to the winds from young, massive stars that are blowing throughout the nebula.

Voyager 1 was launched into space 35 years ago, this is a picture it sent of the Earth from space. A pale blue dot. Wow! The world doesn't seem so big to me now!