Monday, December 27, 2010

WISE Sees an Explosion of Infrared Light

WISE - Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer saw a circular rainbow around an exploded star. When massive stars die, they explode in BIG blasts, called supernovae, which send out shock waves. The shock waves sweep up and heat surrounding gas and dust, creating supernova remnants like the one pictured  here. The supernova in IC 433 happened somewhere between 5000 and 10000 years ago. More about this topic on

This oddly colorful nebula is the supernova remnant IC 443 as seen by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA