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Stars and stellar evolution
Supernova Remnant SN 1006
Half size lp supernova remnant sn 1006 2x
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Photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope

The image shows a thin ribbon seemingly draped across this portion of the sky. In reality, this ribbon marks the expanding blast wave from a supernova explosion that occurred more than 1,000 years ago.

Facts of interest about the image

The transparent nature of the ribbon of glowing gas is apparent from the background objects visible through the material.

Classroom activity

Included is an inquiry-based classroom activity that focuses on the image and text.


This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a portion of the visible-light remnants of a supernova explosion that was observed in 1006. Following discovery of a nearly circular ring of material at the recorded position of the supernova by radio astronomers, a faint visible light filament was detected. A tiny portion of this filament is revealed in detail by the Hubble observation. The twisting ribbon of light corresponds to locations where the expanding blast wave from the supernova is now sweeping into very tenuous surrounding gas. Includes an inquiry-based classroom activity.

11-12, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Teachers can use this lithograph as:

An example of a supernova remnant. Use the inquiry-based classroom activity called In Search ofSupernova Remnants that is included with the PDF lithograph.

An engagement tool in an inquiry-based lesson. Have students study the images on the lithograph. Ask them to write down as many questions as they can about the features visible in the images. When the students are finished, their questions can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Ask students to find the answers to their questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

  • Have students exchange papers so that each student has someone else's questions. Then have students find the answers to the other students' questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

  • Gather the questions into a list by asking students to volunteer to read their questions while you or another student records them on the board or on the overhead projector transparency. Ask students to raise their hands if they had the same or a similar question. Count the number of raised hands and record it next to the question. Once all the questions have been added to the list, ask students to search for the answers to their questions in the text on the back of the lithograph. When they complete that task, ask them to decide if each of their questions was answered completely, answered partially, or not answered at all. Go through the original list and place an "A" in front of the questions that were answered completely, a "P" for those that were partially answered, and an "N" for those that were not answered at all. Determine if the most commonly asked questions also were answered completely. Encourage students to pursue further research to find answers to the unanswered questions.

A content reading tool. Have students read the lithograph and then write a quiz for the class.

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: "Hubble Sees Stars and a Stripe in Celestial Fireworks"

HubbleSite: Press Releases on Supernovae

HubbleSite: Press Releases on Supernova Remnants

Astronomy Picture of the Day: SN 1006 Supernova Remnant

Amazing Space resources by topic: Stars and stellar evolution