September 25, 2008--The Circinus galaxy appears in a colorful composite of optical and x-ray images from 2000 to 2004 that spotlight hydrogen (red) and oxygen (blue) emissions.
Supernova SN 1996cr (lower right) exploded more than a decade ago. Located some 12 million light-years away, it was one of the closest supernovae in a quarter century--yet the massive blast was not spotted until 2001.
The galaxy is fertile ground for star formation and home to a supermassive, growing, black hole.
Image by X-ray (NASA/CXC/Columbia/F.Bauer et al); Optical (NASA/STScI/UMD/A.Wilson et al.)