35,000 light-years

This supernova remnant started life as a very large, very bright star that shed much of its a outer layers over a million years or so - a mere moment in stellar terms - before collapsing in on itself and then exploding as a gamma-ray burst, momentarily burning with the light of ten billion Suns. Blue colours reveal gas rich in iron and nickel glowing in X-rays at temperatures of 15 million degrees, green and red shows the infrared glow of hot hydrogen gas.

Credit: Image made by J. Keohane et al in x-ray light for NASA / Chandra X-ray Center and infrared light for Palomar / SSC.

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