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Chandra X-ray
Observatory Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
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N132D: A supernova remnant in the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 160,000 light years from Earth.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/SAO/CXC; Optical: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

Caption: This is a composite Chandra (X-ray/blue) and Hubble (optical/pink & purple) of N132D. The beautiful glowing horseshoe-shaped cloud of hot gas against a backdrop of thousands of stars was produced by the explosion of a massive star. Shock waves produced by the explosion heated interstellar gas around the site to X-ray emitting temperatures of millions of degrees Celsius. The optical image reveals cooler gas and a small, bright crescent-shaped cloud of emission from hydrogen gas. The star that exploded as a supernova was probably more than 20 times as massive as the Sun. Most of the stars in this image are less massive and will not go out with a bang.

Scale: Image is 3.2 arcmin across

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory