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.
The transparent nature of the ribbon of glowing gas is apparent from the background objects visible through the material.
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.
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:
A content reading tool. Have students read the lithograph and then write a quiz for the class.
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