The team used the Very Large Telescope in Chile to study the supernova 1987A, which lies 168,000 light-years away.

The results show the original blast was very powerful and concentrated in one particular direction.

Seen in 1987, it was the first supernova visible with the naked eye to have been observed for some 383 years.

The 3D view shows the explosion was stronger and faster in some directions than others, leading to an irregular shape with some parts stretching further out into space.

This phenomenon was predicted by some of the most recent computer models of supernovae, which found that large-scale instabilities take place during the explosion.

Exploding star ‘viewed in 3D’, 8/4/10

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather