NASA has revealed an amazing snapshot of a supernova blast wave.
An exploding star created the wave that spans an area 36 times larger than the Moon.
The image was captured by NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
It shows only a small section of the Cygnus supernova blast wave.
The supernova occurred 2,400 light-years away from Earth.
The Cygnus supernova covers an area 36 times larger than a Full Moon.
The star explosion is thought to have happened 10,000-20,000 years ago.
What's left now is just the remnants.
The remnants are said to have expanded 60 light years away from the original centre.
Nasa said: "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."
It added: "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."
What is a supernova?
Here’s what you need to know…
- A supernova is a powerful and bright stellar explosion
- It occurs during the last evolutionary stages of a massive star, or when a white dwarf goes into runaway nuclear fusion
- The original object collapses into either a neutron star or black hole, or is completely destroyed
- The "peak luminosity" of a supernova is comparable to an entire galaxy, before fading over several weeks or months
- Just three naked-eye supernova events have been observed in the Milky Way during the last thousand years
- The most recent of which was Kepler's Supernova in 1604
- A supernova remnant is the structure resulting from the explosion of a star in a supernova
- It is bounded by an expanding shock wave
- And it's made from ejected material expanding fromm the exposion, and interstellar material it sweeps up along the way
In other space news, SpaceX successfully completed a second 'hop' test for its Starship rocket prototype.
Wormholes that let humans travel through space and time could be possible, scientists have proposed.
And, Nasa has admitted that it's still not found the source of a mysterious air leak in the International Space Station.
What are your thoughts on the supernova blast wave? Let us know in the comments…
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