Four Bright Knots of Superheated Gas in Supernova 1987A Ring
Depicts: SN 1987A
Copyright: NASA, Peter Challis and Robert Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), Peter Garnavich (University of Notre Dame) and the SINS collaboration.
Image processing is used to emphasize four new bright
knots of superheated gas discovered in the February 2 Hubble
observations. The brightest knot, at the far right, was seen in 1997.
Astronomers have been waiting several years to see more of the ring
light-up as the supernova shockwave smashes into it. This is the first
definitive sign of the full onset of a dramatic and violent collision
which will continue over the next few years, rejuvenating SN1987A as a
powerful source of X-ray and radio emissions.
Last Update: 1 September 2019