This movie presents a visualization of the supernova remnant known as SNR 0509-67.5. The delicate sphere of gas, photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is the result of gas that is being shocked by the expanding blast wave from a supernova. The bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth. Ripples in the shell's surface may be caused by either subtle variations in the density of the ambient interstellar gas, or possibly driven from the interior by pieces of the ejecta. The bubble-shaped shroud of gas is 23 light-years across and is expanding at more than 11 million miles per hour (5,000 kilometers per second).
The unique three-dimensional view of the visualization reminds us that the objects in Hubble images are not all at the same distance, but rather spread across light-years of space. The stars and the shell of glowing gas from the Hubble two-dimensional image have been separated using both scientific knowledge and artistic license to create the depth in the movie. Of note, the relative distances between stars and the nebula have been greatly compressed.
Production: December 14, 2010
Publication: October 19, 2016