This time-lapse video sequence of Hubble Space Telescope images reveals dramatic changes in a ring of material around the exploded star Supernova 1987A.
The images, taken from 1994 to 2016, show the effects of a shock wave from the supernova blast smashing into the ring. The ring begins to brighten as the shock wave hits it. The ring is about one light-year across.
Discovered in 1987, Supernova 1987A is the closest observed supernova to Earth since 1604. The exploded star resides 163,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way.
NASA, ESA, and R. Kirshner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation), and P. Challis (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)