NASA shares stunning image of a ‘crimson ornament’ gas bubble that formed from the massive explosion of a supernova
- NASA posted an image of a gas bubble that looks like a ‘crimson ornament’
- The red ring was formed by a supernova explosion in a distant galaxy
- It is 23 light-years across and is expanding at more than 11 million miles per hour
NASA shared a festive image of a ‘crimson ornament’ shaped gas bubble in honor of the holiday season.
Snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope, the gleaming red sphere sits 160,000 light-years away in a nearby galaxy and was formed by the explosion of a supernova.
Astronomers believe the supernova was 400 years old as seen from Earth and may have been visible to Southern Hemisphere observers around the year 1600.
The gas ring, or what is formally known as SNR 0509-67.5, is a visible remnant of a Steller explosion that occurred in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).
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Snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope, the gleaming red sphere sits 160,000 light-years away in a nearby galaxy and was formed by the explosion of a supernova
NASA shared the image on Instagram with a post that reads: ‘Resembling a crimson holiday ornament, this sphere of gas is the result of gas being shocked by the blast wave from a supernova explosion.’
The American space agency suggests the ripples in the bubble’s surface could have been cause by different variations in the density of the gas.
The ornament shaped body is 23 light-years across and is expanding at more than 11 million miles per hour.
‘Astronomers have concluded that the explosion was one of an especially energetic and bright variety of supernovae,’ NASA explained in a statement.
‘Known as Type Ia, such supernova events are thought to result from a white dwarf star in a binary system that robs its partner of material, takes on much more mass than it is able to handle, and eventually explodes.’
The supernova remnant was captured on October 28, 2006, but NASA thought it was fitting to share again, as the holidays are just around the corner.
‘With an age of about 400 years as seen from Earth, the supernova might have been visible to Southern Hemisphere observers around the year 1600,’ explained NASA
‘ However, there are no known records of a “new star” in the direction of the LMC near that time.’
WHAT IS THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE?
The Hubble telescope was launched on April 24, 1990, via the space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
It is named after famed astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889.
He is arguably most famous for discovering that the universe is expanding and the rate at which is does so – now coined the Hubble constant.
The Hubble telescope is named after famed astronomer Edwin Hubble who was born in Missouri in 1889 (pictured)
Hubble has made more than 1.3 million observations since its mission began in 1990 and helped publish more than 15,000 scientific papers.
It orbits Earth at a speed of about 17,000mph (27,300kph) in low Earth orbit at about 340 miles in altitude.
Hubble has the pointing accuracy of .007 arc seconds, which is like being able to shine a laser beam focused on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s head on a dime roughly 200 miles (320km) away.
The Hubble telescope is named after Edwin Hubble who was responsible for coming up with the Hubble constant and is one of the greatest astronomers of all-time
Hubble’s primary mirror is 2.4 meters (7 feet, 10.5 inches) across and in total is 13.3 meters (43.5 feet) long – the length of a large school bus.
Hubble’s launch and deployment in April 1990 marked the most significant advance in astronomy since Galileo’s telescope.
Thanks to five servicing missions and more than 25 years of operation, our view of the universe and our place within it has never been the same.
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