Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph
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October 27, 1995
The Tarantula and the Supernova
Telescope photograph by David Malin
In this close-up of the Large Magellanic Cloud,
the spidery looking nebula on the left is fittingly known as
as the Tarantula nebula. It is an
and is a harbinger of things to come for the stars
within the Tarantula. Massive stars
burn their nuclear fuel at drastically enhanced rates to support
their high energy output. As a result their lives
last only a few million years compared to the Sun's few billions of years.
They end in a spectacular death explosion, a
like the star which exploded in 1987 as seen above.
Supernovae may leave behind imploded stellar cores which
form neutron stars or
Tomorrow's picture: The Delta Clipper
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