Spooky

Look: Telescope captures the ghostly view of a nearby dying star

ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

ZU_09/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images

Around 11,000 years ago, humans began shifting from hunter-gatherer lifestyles to form the first agricultural societies at the dawn of the Neolithic Period.

It was also around that time when a massive star exploded deep in space.

The star was located just 800 light years from Earth and would have burst apart in a blinding supernova.

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Today, the aftermath of the supernova is visible via telescope.

The explosion left behind the Vela supernova remnant, which has been spreading for thousands of years.

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:

ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

Here’s the full image of the Vela supernova remnant

ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

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.

ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

The ESO also shared these close-up details from around the remnant.

ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

Here are a few more sections.

ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

Studying remnants like this one helps researchers better understand the lives and deaths of stars.

ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

ESO/VPHAS+ team. Acknowledgement: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

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.