We have launched the new Spitzer website! Send feedback to outreach@ipac.caltech.edu. Find the old website at http://legacy.spitzer.caltech.edu.
Supernova Dust Factory in M74
Sig06 018a

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/B.E.K. Sugerman (STScI)

Observation • June 8th, 2006 • sig06-018a

sig06-018a

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 a 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.

The image is a 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.

About the Object

Name
Messier 74M74NGC 628Supernova 2003gd
Type
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Nebula > Type > Supernova Remnant
Star > Evolutionary Stage > Supernova
Distance
30,000,000 Light Years
Redshift
0.002192

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 3.6 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 4.5 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 8.0 µm Spitzer IRAC

Astrometrics

Position (J2000)
RA =1h 36m 42.6s
Dec = 15° 44' 19.8"
Field of View
2.0 x 2.0 arcminutes
Orientation
North is 70.0° right of vertical