Image: Hubble views edge of stellar blast

Hubble views edge of stellar blast
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Blair; acknowledgment: Leo Shatz

While appearing as a delicate and light veil draped across the sky, this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope actually depicts a small section of the Cygnus supernova blast wave, located around 2,400 light-years away. The name of the supernova remnant comes from its position in the northern constellation of Cygnus (the Swan), where it covers an area 36 times larger than the full moon.

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. The shockwave marks the outer edge of the supernova remnant and continues to expand at around 220 miles per second.

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.


Explore further

Image: The evolution of supernova 1987A

Citation: Image: Hubble views edge of stellar blast (2020, August 31) retrieved 20 October 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2020-08-image-hubble-views-edge-stellar.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
22 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments