Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/T.Temim et al. and ESA/XMM-Newton Radio: SIFA/MOST and CSIRO/ATNF/ACA; Infrared: UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF/2MASS

You may think that the larger a star is, the longer it lives, but the opposite is actually true. Small stars, called red dwarfs, are believed to live trillions of years, while medium-sized stars (like the Sun) live around 10 billion years before fizzling out. Finally, we high-mass stars, which only live for a few millions of years. When the die, they go out spectacular, weaving the bits and pieces that remain into intricate 'webs' of gas.

These webs, called supernova remnants, only last the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things, but regardless of how fleeting they are, they are often regarded as the most beautiful nebulae the universe has to offer (as an example, the Crab Nebula is a supernova remnant, as is Cassiopeia A).

The object you see above is counted among them. Called G327.1-1.1, it's technically classified as a pulsar wind nebula (again, like the Crab Nebula), which naturally harbors a rapidly spinning pulsar at its core. This image highlights the relativistic particle jets streaming from its magnetic poles, which are visible in the x-ray (seen in blue) and radio (red and yellow) portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

However, G327.1-1.1 is a bit of an anomaly. You see, according to NASA:

G327.1-1.1 can be found approximately 29,000 light years from Earth in the Norma constellation. (See a larger image here.)


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