This composite shows an imaginative composition using images of some of the most prominent supernovae and supernova remnants, both from our own Galaxy and others. The remnants included are 1) the Crab Nebula, the remnant of a supernova in our own Galaxy in the year 1054AD, hence about 1000 years of age. The radio nebula remnant of the explosion shows filamentary structure and is powered by a pulsar in its center, the pulsar being the remains of the exploded star's core 2) 3C58, a supernova remnant in our Galaxy, also powered by a pulsar, at least 800 years old 3) Supernova 1993J, which is in the galaxy M81, exploded in April 1993. The image used here was made when the supernova was about 7 years old. 4) Supernova 1986J exploded in about 1983, but was not discovered till radio observations in 1986. It may be the first supernova to show signs of a pulsar emerging from the debris of an exploded star.
This composite includes the following radio images, approximately from the top: Crab Nebula, (both black & white and black to blue-green through white), 5GHz, VLA, RA. 05 34 32, Decl. 22 00 52, observing date 2001 March 12, resolution 1.4". Observers M. F. Bietenholz (York University), J. J. Hester (ASU), D. A. Frail (NRAO) and N. Bartel (York University). ADS Bibcode 2004ApJ...615..794B SN1993J, (a pair of false-color mirror image copies near the center), 8.4 GHz, Global VLBI: VLBA + VLA + DSN + EVN, RA 9 55 25, Dec. 69 01 14, observing date 1998 Dec. to 2000 Nov, resolution 0.7 milli-arcsec, Observers, M. F. Bietenholz, N. Bartel (York University), M. P. Rupen (NRAO) and others. ADS Bibcode 2003ApJ...597..374B, 2002ApJ...581..404B, 2001ApJ...557..770B 3C58 (multiple mirrored copies, black and white, and background black & white image), 1.4 GHz, VLA, RA 2 5 39, Dec. 64 49 33, Observing date 2003 July to 2004 Apr., resolution 1.4", Observer M. F. Bietenholz (York University). ADS Bibcode 2001ApJ...560..772B SN1986J, (blue contours and red-white color, near center), contours, red are 5.0 GHz, blue-white is 14.0 GHz.


Legacy Astronomical Images


NRAO/AUI/NSF does not hold full copyright for this image. Contact the archivist for details.


Legacy Astronomical Image

Object Name


Photo Credit

Balz Bietenholz and Michael Bietenholz and Norbert Bartel, York University.


Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA)
Very Large Array (VLA)
Green Bank Telescope (GBT)

Type of Observation





6 cm


5.0 GHz

Center of Image

RA 2:22:31.000, Dec: 42:19:57.000 (J2000)

Field of View

0.000003 x 0.000003 degrees


Contact the archivist for a high resolution tif of this image.


Miscellaneous Series


Image Compositions Unit


Legacy Astronomical Images, “Novi,” NRAO Archives, accessed December 3, 2021,