Nebulae - Glittering Lights - Marco Lorenzi
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Supernova Remnant Puppis A

Supernova Remnant Puppis A

Driven by the explosion of a massive star, supernova remnant Puppis A is blasting into the surrounding interstellar medium about 7,000 light-years away. The expanding shock waves from that explosion are heating up the dust and gas clouds surrounding the supernova, causing them to glow and creating the beautiful red cirrus we see scattered around the center of the image. Much of the material from that original star was violently thrown out into space. However, some of the material remained in an incredibly dense object called a neutron star. This particular neutron star (too faint to be seen in this image) is moving inexplicably fast: over 3 million miles per hour! Astronomers are perplexed over its absurd speed, and have nicknamed the object, the “Cosmic Cannonball."

Some of the teal-colored gas and dust in the image is from yet another ancient supernova, the Vela supernova remnant. That explosion happened around 12,000 years ago and was four times closer to us than Puppis A. If you had X-ray vision like the comic book hero Superman, both of these remnants would be among the largest and brightest objects you would see in the sky. On the top of the image the little bluish glare is vdBH15.

(Text adapted from APOD and "Star explosion leaves behind a rose" ScienceDaily, 12 Dec. 2011, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Many thanks to Sakib Rasool for suggesting me this interesting target.

Apo TEC140 (140/f7.2) - FLI Proline 16803 - Ha (540m) OIII (540m) L (180m) R (70m) G (80m) B (60m) - Warrumbungle Observatory, Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia