These delicate but fast-moving filaments of gas belong to a supernova remnant designated as 1E 0102.2-7219, which resulted from the destruction of a massive star long ago in the Small Magellanic Cloud 200,000 years ago. light. This image from the Hubble Space Telescope is displayed in false color, with blue indicating strands of gas moving towards us and red signifying material moving away from us on the far side of the explosion. These strands and filaments expand at an average speed of 3.2 million kilometers per hour, and by tracing their movement through time, astronomers have deduced that the progenitor star exploded 1,700 years ago. However, there is no written record of this supernova having been seen by people in the southern hemisphere at the time.
There is a neutron star hidden in the gas of this supernova remnant. Previously identified through joint observations by the Very Large Telescope in Chile and NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory, it is also moving away from the explosion site at about three million kilometers per hour. Image: NASA/ESA/J. Banovetz and D. Milisavljevic (Purdue University).