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The star was located just 800 light years from Earth and would have burst apart in a blinding supernova.
Today, the aftermath of the supernova is visible via telescope.
ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit
Most recently, the European Southern Observatory’s ground-based VLT Survey Telescope captured a stunning portrait of the remnant.
On Halloween, the ESO released its ghostly new view:
Tendrils of cosmic dust and gas wrap themselves in web-like shapes as bright stars glow in the foreground and background.
Bright shades of magenta, blue, red, and green represent light captured by different filters the telescope used to illuminate vivid details.
And thanks to the relatively young age of the Vela remnant — and its close proximity to Earth — telescopes have a front-row seat to the ever-changing terrain of a star’s explosive end.