First 3-D view of a supernova in progress

Illustration for article titled First 3-D view of a supernova in progress

Check out this artist's impression of an super-violent supernova. The Very Large Telescope managed to obtain the first 3-D view of material after a star's explosion, traveling 100 million kilometers per hour. And check out a video below.

According to the European Southern Observatory:

Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have for the first time obtained a three-dimensional view of the distribution of the innermost material expelled by a recently exploded star. The original blast was not only powerful, according to the new results. It was also more concentrated in one particular direction. This is a strong indication that the supernova must have been very turbulent, supporting the most recent computer models...

[Supernova 1987A] has been a bonanza for astrophysicists. It provided several notable observational ‘firsts', like the detection of neutrinos from the collapsing inner stellar core triggering the explosion, the localisation on archival photographic plates of the star before it exploded, the signs of an asymmetric explosion, the direct observation of the radioactive elements produced during the blast, observation of the formation of dust in the supernova, as well as the detection of circumstellar and interstellar material (eso0708).

New observations making use of a unique instrument, SINFONI [1], on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) have provided even deeper knowledge of this amazing event, as astronomers have now been able to obtain the first-ever 3D reconstruction of the central parts of the exploding material.

This view shows that the explosion was stronger and faster in some directions than others, leading to an irregular shape with some parts stretching out further into space.



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Han Solo Stole My Nerf Herd

Someone couldn't come up with a more creative name than "Very Large Telescope"?