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Galactic Supernova Remnant IC 443

About 30,000 years ago, a star in our Galaxy exploded. Since the star is 5000 light-years away from us, it would have been seen about 25,000 years ago. Today we can see the expanding shell of gas and the neutron star that are left behind. Part of the shell of IC 443 is composed of complex filaments, some of which are impacting an existing molecular cloud. Here emission from shock-excited molecular hydrogen is allowing astronomers to study how fast moving supernova gas affects star formation in the cloud. Additionally, astronomers theorize that the impact accelerates some particles to velocities near the speed of light. Supernova remnant IC 443 is also known to shine brightly also in infrared and X-ray light.

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