Glittering stars and wisps of gas create a breathtaking backdrop for the self-destruction of a masive star, called supernova 1987A, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy. Astronomers in the Southern hemisphere witnesed the brilliant explosion of this star on Feb. 23, 1987. Shown in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, the supernova remnant, surrounded by inner and outer rings of material, is set in a forest of ethereal, diffuse clouds of gas. This three-color image is composed of several pictures of the supernova and its neighboring region taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in Sept. 1994, Feb. 1996 and July 1997.
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