The world of stars never fails to intrigue the inquisitive minds. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satiates astronomy lovers’ hunger for information about the Milky Way on its social media accounts. And, this time the American space agency has posted an image of an explosion of a massive star on Instagram.
The stunning image, shared from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, shows a supernova remnant (SNR) or the remains of a supernova explosion. Different rings of colours such as red, yellow, purple and blue represent different elements.
“Chandra, I’m ready for my close-up. This supernova remnant was produced by the explosion of a massive star. With help from @NASAChandraXray, astronomers have been able to confirm that most oxygen in the universe comes from explosions like we see here. The amount of oxygen generated from this explosion could fuel thousands of solar systems,” reads the caption of the post.
See the post:
View this post on Instagram
NASA’s post has garnered more than 15 lakh likes so far and enthralled netizens commented on the marvellous image. “Omg, this is epic,” one of them said.
According to NASA, SNRs, which have a pivotal role in the galaxy, heat up the interstellar medium, distribute heavy elements throughout the galaxy and accelerate cosmic rays. Elements essential for life on earth come from within the furnaces of stars and their explosions and there would be no earth without the SNRs, NASA says on its website.
Oxygen, the most abundant element in the human body, comes from massive stars’ explosions. In addition, calcium and about 40 per cent of iron come from such explosions. The balance of these elements is being maintained by the explosion of smaller mass, white dwarf stars, says NASA.