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N132D Previous Releases

N132D: Glowing Remnant from a Star-Shattering Explosion

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N132D in X-Ray

This "true color" Chandra X-ray image of N132D shows the beautiful, complex remnant of an explosion of a massive star in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy about 160,000 light years from Earth. The colors represent different ranges of X-rays, with red, green, and blue representing, low, medium, and higher X-ray energies respectively.

Supernova remnants comprise debris of a stellar explosion and any matter in the vicinity that is affected by the expanding debris. In the case of N132D, the horseshoe shape of the remnant is thought to be due to shock waves from the collision of the supernova ejecta with cool giant gas clouds. As the shock waves move through the gas they heat it to millions of degrees, producing the glowing X-ray shell.

N132D in Optical Light

A Hubble Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 snapshot of the supernova's inner regions shows the complex collisions that take place as fast-moving material slams into cool, dense interstellar clouds. This "true color" optical picture was made by superposing images taken on 9-10 August 1994 in three of the strongest optical emission lines: singly ionized sulfur (red), doubly ionized oxygen (green), and singly ionized oxygen (blue).

Photo credit: Jon A. Morse (STScI) and NASA

Investigating team: William P. Blair (PI; JHU), Michael A. Dopita (MSSSO), Robert P. Kirshner (Harvard), Knox S. Long (STScI), Jon A. Morse (STScI), John C. Raymond (SAO), Ralph S. Sutherland (UC-Boulder), and P. Frank Winkler (Middlebury).

Visit the 1995 Hubble Release on N132D