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Hubble Supernova Bubble Resembles Holiday Ornament

Published by Matt on Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:22 am via: Hubblesite
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A delicate sphere of gas, photographed by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, floats serenely in the depths of space. The pristine shell, or bubble, is the result of gas that is being shocked by the expanding blast wave from a supernova. Called SNR 0509-67.5 (or SNR 0509 for short), the bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small galaxy about 160,000 light-years from Earth.

A delicate sphere of gas, photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, floats serenely in the depths of space. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

A delicate sphere of gas, photographed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, floats serenely in the depths of space. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Ripples in the shell’s surface may be caused by either subtle variations in the density of the ambient interstellar gas, or possibly driven from the interior by pieces of the ejecta. The bubble-shaped shroud of gas is 23 light-years across and is expanding at more than 11 million miles per hour (5,000 kilometers per second).

Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys observed the supernova remnant on Oct. 28, 2006, with a filter that isolates light from glowing hydrogen seen in the expanding shell. These observations were then combined with visible-light images of the surrounding star field that were imaged with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 on Nov. 4, 2010.

This colorful creation was made by combining data from two of NASA's Great Observatories. Optical data of SNR 0509-67.5 and its accompanying star field, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, are composited with X-ray images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Credit: NASA, ESA, CXC, SAO, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and J. Hughes (Rutgers University)

This colorful creation was made by combining data from two of NASA's Great Observatories. Optical data of SNR 0509-67.5 and its accompanying star field, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, are composited with X-ray images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Credit: NASA, ESA, CXC, SAO, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and J. Hughes (Rutgers University)

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