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Inside Supernova 1987A

CU scientists take a look at the star's shiny remains.

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The Hubble Space Telescope has its big eye pointed deep into space, where the remains of a massive supernova star dubbed Supernova 1987A are drifting. And the scientists behind it are studying the site in the hopes of learning more about the role star guts play in the evolution of galaxies.

New studies led by Kevin France, a research associate at the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy at the University of Colorado in Boulder, have detected significant brightening of the emissions from the former star, writes the Daily Camera.

Those emanations “allow us to accurately measure the velocity and composition of the ejected” guts, which provide a kind of blueprint regarding what elements are being recycled in the Large Magellanic Cloud and how it changes its environment on human time scales.

Hubble is the world’s only observatory that can examine the brightening of the String of Pearls (pictured), as the remains are known, in ultraviolet light, says France.

Photo via colorado.edu (courtesy NASA).

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