Overview: Supernova Remnant SN 1006

of "Lithograph: Supernova Remnant SN 1006"
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Lithograph: Supernova Remnant SN 1006 (PDF)
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This Hubble Space Telescope image shows a portion of the visible-light remnants of a supernova explosion that was observed in 1006. Following discovery of a nearly circular ring of material at the recorded position of the supernova by radio astronomers, a faint visible light filament was detected. A tiny portion of this filament is revealed in detail by the Hubble observation. The twisting ribbon of light corresponds to locations where the expanding blast wave from the supernova is now sweeping into very tenuous surrounding gas. Includes an inquiry-based classroom activity.
Format(s) available: PDF
Grades: 11-12, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion.
How to use it in the classroom

Teachers can use Lithograph: Supernova Remnant SN 1006 as:

An example of a supernova remnant. Use the inquiry-based classroom activity called "In Search of…Supernova Remnants" that is included with the PDF lithograph.

An engagement tool in an inquiry-based lesson. Have students study the images on the lithograph. Ask them to write down as many questions as they can about the features visible in the images. When the students are finished, their questions can be used in a variety of ways:

• Ask students to find the answers to their questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

• Have students exchange papers so that each student has someone else's questions. Then have students find the answers to the other students' questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

• Gather the questions into a list by asking students to volunteer to read their questions while you or another student records them on the board or on the overhead projector transparency. Ask students to raise their hands if they had the same or a similar question. Count the number of raised hands and record it next to the question. Once all the questions have been added to the list, ask students to search for the answers to their questions in the text on the back of the lithograph. When they complete that task, ask them to decide if each of their questions was answered completely, answered partially, or not answered at all. Go through the original list and place an "A" in front of the questions that were answered completely, a "P" for those that were partially answered, and an "N" for those that were not answered at all. Determine if the most commonly asked questions also were answered completely. Encourage students to pursue further research to find answers to the unanswered questions.

A content reading tool. Have students read the lithograph and then write a quiz for the class.

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: "Hubble Sees Stars and a Stripe in Celestial Fireworks." This web page includes a zoomable image of the supernova remnant.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

HubbleSite press releases about stars that form supernovae

HubbleSite press releases about nebulae classified as supernova remnants

See the Stars and stellar evolution section on "Teaching tools" page.

Go to the resource

Overview: Supernova Remnant SN 1006