Beautiful ends make new beginnings ✨
A glowing horseshoe-shaped cloud of gas is against a backdrop of thousands of stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, observed here by @NASAChandraXray and @NASAHubble. The supernova remnant featured here was produced by the explosion of a massive star. The explosion sent shockwaves rumbling through interstellar space at speeds of several million miles per hour, which can create sudden, large changes in pressure and temperature behind the waves.
The X-ray glow, shown in blue, is the result of a shockwave heating interstellar gas to temperatures of about 10 million degrees. The horseshoe shape may be caused by uneven distribution of interstellar gas around the site of the explosion.
Hubble’s optical image reveals a smaller, bright crescent-shaped cloud of emission from hydrogen gas and faint purple wisps that correspond to regions rich in oxygen atoms – evidence of nuclear reactions in the core of the pre-supernova star. These and other heavy elements may be incorporated in the next generation of stars and accompanying planets. 💫
Credit: (X-ray) NASA/SAO/CXC; (Optical) NASA, @EuropeanSpaceAgency, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)