Thursday, May 20, 2021

The rippled bubble SNR-0509

This delicate bubble appears to float serenely in the depths of space, but its apparent calm hides an inner turmoil! 

The rippled bubble is actually a supernova remnant called, "SNR-0509." It is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, located about 160,000 light-years away from Earth. 

The type Ia supernova that resulted in its creation occurred about 400 years ago for Earth viewers. The supernova might have been visible to observers in the Southern Hemisphere around 1600 A.D. 

Type Ia supernova events are thought to result when a white dwarf star in a binary system robs its partner of material, taking on much more mass than it is able to handle, and eventually explodes.  

The gaseous envelope seen in this supernova remnant formed as the expanding blast wave and the material ejected from the supernova tore through the nearby interstellar medium. 

SNR-0509 is 23 light-years across and is expanding at more than 11 million miles per hour (5,000 kilometers per second).


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