NASA has released stunning pictures of a small section of a supernova captured by the Hubble telescope. The spellbinding picture looks right out of a science fiction movie as it appears as a “light veil draped across the sky” to NASA. The Cygnus supernova blast wave has been located around 2,400 light-years away from our planet. The supernova has a peculiar position in the northern constellation of “Cygnus (the Swan) where it covers an area 36 times larger than the full Moon”.
The supernova explosion took place between 10,000 to 20,000 years ago caused by a dying star breaking apart which is 20 times larger than our Sun. Since then the supernova remnant — a structure resulting from the explosion of a star in a supernova — has expanded 60 light-years from its centre. The shockwave which is marked by the outer structure is expanding at a speed of 354 kilometre per second.
According to NASA, “the interaction of the ejected material and the low-density interstellar material swept up by the shockwave forms the distinctive veil-like structure seen in this image”.
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Do you believe in magic? ✨ While appearing as a delicate and light veil draped across the sky, this @NASAHubble image reminds us of the power of imagination. What does this look like to you? In reality, it’s a small section of a Cygnus supernova blast wave, located around 2,400 light-years away. The original supernova explosion blasted apart a dying star about 20 times more massive than our Sun between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago. Since then, the remnant has expanded 60 light-years from its center. Credit: @EuropeanSpaceAgency/Hubble & NASA, W. Blair; acknowledgment: Leo Shatz #SuperNova #Serene #Hubble #CosmicBeauty #NASA
Hubble telescope was launched into the low earth orbit in 1990. It is larger than a school bus in size which features a 7.9 feet mirror and captures stunning images of deep space playing a major role in helping astronomers understand the universe and see various aspects of it. Also, it delivers these stunning images from time to time including the icy image of the NEOWISE comet.
“This the first time Hubble has photographed a comet of this brightness at such resolution after this close of a pass by the sun,” NASA said in a statement, adding that the nucleus managed to stay together even after the swing past our nearest star.
“Hubble has far better resolution than we can get with any other telescope of this comet,” Qicheng Zhang, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology who led the imaging campaign, said in the same statement. “That resolution is very key for seeing details very close to the nucleus. It lets us see changes in the dust right after it’s stripped from that nucleus due to solar heat, sampling dust as close to the original properties of the comet as possible.”
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