Light echoes around SN 1987A

CCD images of the double light echo around supernova SN 1987A, as observed with the ESO 3.6-metre telescope and EFOSC with a coronographic mask on 13 February 1988 (Ieft) and 16 March 1988 (right). A careful comparison shows the expansion, about 3 arcsec/month. Light echoes have been used as an efficient way of studying the structure of the interstellar medium close to the supernova. SN 1987A, detected in the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud, was the closest explosion of this kind for several centuries, the first visible by naked-eye for 383 years and definitely one of the most studied objects in modern astronomy. ESO telescopes have observed it for more than twenty years.

More information in ESO Messenger 52, p13:



About the Image

Release date:12 March 2010, 18:51
Size:2339 x 1284 px

About the Object

Name:SN 1987A
Type:• Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Supernova
Distance:170000 light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
745.0 KB
Screensize JPEG
210.7 KB

Colours & filters

470 nmESO 3.6-metre telescope


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