In today’s glance at the intricately woven canvas of the interstellar medium, we come to a baby supernova remnant that can be seen in the constellation of Centaurus, more than 26,000 light-years from Earth.
G306.3-0.9, as its formally designated as, was formed a mere 2,500 years ago (making it basically a newborn, cosmologically speaking), after a massive star underwent the transformation from a main-sequence star to a neutron star or stellar-mass black hole, During this progression, the star violently hurtles its outer layers of material off into the interstellar medium following a core contraction, forming a supernova remnant.
This particular example is one of the youngest remnants ever to be observed in our own galaxy. Iconic since only an estimated two or three supernovae are seen in the Milky Way each century!
This composite is is a wide-field view of the area, with the colors representative of the area when viewed at different wavelengths. In this instance, the x-rays can be seen in blue (From the Chandra X-ray Observatory), infrared data can be seen in red (from Spitzer), while radio observations can be seen in purple, from the Australian Telescope Compact Array.
See a larger image here.