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January 20 2013

Animal-shaped nebula has an earthly doppelganger, say astronomers


The National Science Foundationís Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array recently released a new view of a 20,000-year old supernova that closely resembles a much-beloved endangered species, the Florida Manatee. The image also offers more clues to the history of this amazing celestial wonder.

According to a news release from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), W50 is one of the biggest supernova remnants ever spotted by the VLA. W50 is about 700 light years across, covering two degrees on the sky (thatís the span of four full Moons, say astronomers).

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