<p>Three telescopes have spotted a bright new star in the heavens—a young pulsar surrounded by the remains of a supernova. Pulsars are the spinning cores of dead stars that ended their lives in huge explosions.</p><p>Revealed by x-ray data, the newfound pulsar is the blue-tinged point of light seen at the upper right of the frame. Optical data show that the stellar corpse is encased in a shell of dust and gas—the first time such an object has been found in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The picture also shows the intricate structure of a nearby star-forming region.</p><p>(Find out <a href="http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/12/magellanic-clouds/ferris-text">more about the Magellanic clouds</a> in <em>National Geographic</em> magazine.)</p><p>The above picture, released this week, combines x-ray data from <a href="http://chandra.harvard.edu/index.html">NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory</a> and ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope with visible-light data from the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.</p>

Cosmic Ornament

Three telescopes have spotted a bright new star in the heavens—a young pulsar surrounded by the remains of a supernova. Pulsars are the spinning cores of dead stars that ended their lives in huge explosions.

Revealed by x-ray data, the newfound pulsar is the blue-tinged point of light seen at the upper right of the frame. Optical data show that the stellar corpse is encased in a shell of dust and gas—the first time such an object has been found in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The picture also shows the intricate structure of a nearby star-forming region.

(Find out more about the Magellanic clouds in National Geographic magazine.)

The above picture, released this week, combines x-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA's XMM-Newton space telescope with visible-light data from the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

Image courtesy L. Oskinova et al, University of Potsdam/CXC/NASA

Space Pictures This Week: Cosmic Ornament, Pulsing Star

A starry bauble, a space shuttle decked with lights, and a rare warped galaxy feature among this week's best space pictures.

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