I’ve always been a sucker for supernova remnants.
When a massive star reaches the end of its life, the core collapses and releases vast amounts of energy. The explosion tears the star apart, and after years – sometimes hundreds or even thousands of years– the result is an ethereal, wispy cloud of gas whose fate is to merge with the gas and dust that lies between the stars.
The Hubble Space Telescope Heritage team just released this image of a remnant in a nearby galaxy.
There’s a huge amount of science and interesting things to talk about in pictures like this. But this time, I’ll just say that it’s awfully pretty, isn’t it?