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Animal-shaped nebula has an earthly doppelganger, say astronomers

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | January 20, 2013

Animal-shaped nebula has an earthly doppelganger, say astronomers

Animal-shaped nebula looks like a Florida manatee.

The National Science Foundation’s 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 (that’s the span of four full Moons, say astronomers).

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