Click to see a larger image (CREDIT: NASA/Hubble)


This tenuous-looking bubble is called SNR B0509-67.5, or SNR 0509 for short. It is located in the large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) located some 160,000 light-years from our place in the cosmos.


In this case, the SNR part of the designation stands for “Supernova Remnant” because, well, that’s what it is. The bubble is all that’s left of a once massive star that exploded some several hundred thousand years ago. SNR 0509 is about 23 light-years across and is expanding at about 18-million kilometers per hour. The rippling pattern seen in this remnant is likely caused either by different densities of material in interstellar gasses or from interactions with the fragments of the star.

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