Center for Magnetic Self Organization
in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas
Size: 1.3 light years diameter (central ring)
Mass: 20 solar masses
Distance: 168,000 light years
Flow Speed: 16,000 mph
Location: In the constellation Dorado
Image Credit: ESA, Hubble, NASA
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The fiery “hula hoops” in Supernova 1987A are made of plasma and formed after a massive star exploded.
A supernova explosion occurs when a large, aging star uses up its fuel and can no longer produce enough energy through nuclear fusion to combat the crushing force of gravity, causing it to suddenly collapse into a white dwarf, neutron star, or even a black hole.