Ring of Star Debris

Photograph courtesy NASA and ESA

A ring of glowing debris encircles the remains of supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy. This cosmic pearl necklace is about 1.4 light-years in diameter and was likely shed by the star thousands of years ago as it began to collapse. The debris was heated to some 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit (11,100 degrees Celsius) by the blast wave when the star exploded. Supernova 1987A is expected to glow for decades to come.