About the Image
- NASA/JPL-Caltech/B.E.K. Sugerman (STScI)
- Ben E. K. Sugerman (Space Telescope Science Institute), Barbara Ercolano (University College London), Michael. J. Barlow (University College London), A. G. G. M. Tielens (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute), Geoffrey C. Clayton (Louisiana State University), Albert A. Zijlstra (University of Manchester), Margaret Meixner (Space Telescope Science Institute), Angela Speck (University of Missouri), Tim M. Gledhill (University of Hertfordshire), Nino Panagia (Space Telescope Science Institute), Martin Cohen (Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy), Karl D. Gordon (Steward Observatory, University of Arizona), Martin Meyer (Space Telescope Science Institute), Joanna Fabbri (University College London), Janet. E. Bowey (University College London), Douglas L. Welch (McMaster University), Michael W. Regan (Space Telescope Science Institute), Robert C. Kennicutt, Jr. (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge)
About the Object
- Messier 74 • M74 • NGC 628 • Supernova 2003gd
- Galaxy > Type > Spiral
- Nebula > Type > Supernova Remnant
- Star > Evolutionary Stage > Supernova
- 30,000,000 Light Years
|Infrared||3.6 µm||Spitzer IRAC|
|Infrared||4.5 µm||Spitzer IRAC|
|Infrared||8.0 µm||Spitzer IRAC|
- Position (J2000)
- RA = 1h 36m 42.6s
- Dec = 15° 44' 19.8"
- Field of View
- 2.0 x 2.0 arcminutes
- North is 70.0° right of vertical
Supernova Dust Factory in M74
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have spotted a "dust factory" thirty million light-years away in the spiral galaxy M74. The factory is located at the scene of a massive star's explosive death, or supernova.
While astronomers have suspected for years that supernovae could be producers of cosmic dust particles, the technology to confirm this suspicion has only recently become available.
The dust factory, also known as supernova SN 2003gd, is shown at the center of this image from Spitzer's Infrared Array Camera (IRAC). The yellow-green dot shows that the source's temperature is warmer than the surrounding material. This is because newly formed dust within the supernova is just starting to cool.
The image is an infrared composite, in which 3.6-micron light is blue, 4.5-micron light is green, and 8-micron light is red. The image was obtained in July 2004.
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