Twenty five years ago, the
brightest supernova of modern times
astronomers have watched and waited for
the expanding debris from this tremendous stellar
explosion to crash into
previously expelled material.
A clear result of such a collision is demonstrated in the above time lapse video of images
recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope between 1994
The movie depicts the collision of an outward
blast wave with the pre-existing, light-year wide ring.
The collision occurred at speeds near
60 million kilometers per hour and
ring material causing it to glow.
Astronomers continue to study the collision as it
illuminates the interesting past of
SN 1987A, and provides clues to
the origin of the mysterious rings.