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Vela Supernova Remnant - 1 gigapixel image

About 11,000 years ago a star in the constellation of Vela exploded. This bright supernova may have been visible to the first human farmers. Today the Vela supernova remnant marks the position of a relatively close and recent explosion in our Milky Way Galaxy. A roughly spherical, expanding shock wave is visible in X-rays. In the optical photograph shown here, the 100+ light-years span spherical blast wave is shown in detail. As gas flies away from the detonated star, it reacts with the interstellar medium, knocking away closely held electrons from even heavy elements. When the electrons recombine with these atoms, light in many different colors and energy bands is produced. (Text adapted from the Astronomy Picture of the Day website)

Chosen as NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day for February 13, 2007.

The Vela SNR image presented here is one of the largest deep-sky image ever released to date; the full-resolution version is a whopping 1,018 gigapixel, or 1018 megapixel. For comparison, a modern digital camera produces images of just 8-10 megapixel and a good modern LCD screen is able to show just 1/1000th of the full-res in a time. The uncompressed version of the file is nearly 3 Gigabytes.

Full-res file is about 1018 Megapixels with a resolution of about 1 arcsec per pixel. It shows an area of sky large 9,3 x 8,5 (for comparison, the full-Moon has a diameter of about 0,5).
The image is available for Museum, Planetariums, exhibitions, publishers and authors in very high-resolution. If interested in using the image, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Copyright: Davide De Martin.


This color image is based on data coming from several photographic plates taken since 1974 through the Anglo Australian Observatory's 48-inch (1.2-meter) UK Schmidt Telescope. The photographs were recorded on two type of glass photographic plates - one sensitive to red light and the other to blue and later they were digitized. Credit: Anglo-Australian Observatory, UK Schmidt Telescope, Digitized Sky Survey.


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All images presented in this website are copyrighted Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.