Supernova Remnant in Vela

Supernova Remnant in Vela

. The most massive stars end their lives in violent explosions called supernovae. These tenuous red wisps mark the expanding debris of the supernova that exploded in the constellation Vela, perhaps 12,000 years ago. Its gases are still expanding outward as a result of the explosion. The Vela supernova remnant now subtends an angle of about 255 arc minutes; it is located at a distance of about 500 parsecs and is now about 30 parsecs across. (Royal Observatory Edinburgh 1979. Photo prepared by David F. Malin.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University