SN1987a 20years on…

It has now been a twenty years since the discovery of the supernova that gave astronomers a kick in the pants about their understanding of the death of stars. It was possibly the best observed supernova ever with Hubble being utilised to take detailed images. These observations have allowed for a detailed model of the final “breathes” of a star. The star is 163,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud. It actually blew up about 161,000 B.C., but its light reached the Earth in 1987. I remember studying the “light-echoes” produced by the explosion as an undergrad.. and from the other week as I now have the fun of teaching the same lab.. 🙂 For more, and some pretty pictures, see [here]

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