(ORDO NEWS) — European astronomers have received the most detailed images so far of the remnants of a supernova in the constellation Parus, which broke out about 11 thousand years ago at a distance of 815 light years from Earth.
These images will help scientists unravel the nature of the movement of gas in the nearest object of this kind to us, the press service of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) said on Monday.
“This object is located just 800 light-years from Earth, making it the closest supernova remnant to us. In this 544 megapixel image, the central region of the supernova remnant in the constellation Vela can be seen.
It extends over a huge area comparable in size to nine full moons, and the whole cloud of gas is even larger,” the report says.
Supernovae arise after the gravitational collapse of especially large luminaries, whose hydrogen reserves are coming to an end.
Their depletion leads to the fact that the core of the star shrinks sharply, which leads to a thermonuclear explosion and generates a rarefaction wave that ejects the outer shells of the star into outer space.
This leads to the formation of a luminous gas and dust nebula, whose boundaries are gradually expanding.
The interest of scientists in supernovae is due to the fact that these outbreaks are now considered one of the main sources of atoms of heavy elements present in the Universe.
In addition, nearby supernova explosions could dramatically increase the level of cosmic ray exposure of the Earth, potentially causing problems for the orbital constellation of satellites and life on the planet’s surface.
The ESO science team used instruments from the VLT telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile’s Atacama Desert to take the first detailed photographs of the nearby remnants of a supernova that exploded in the constellation of Vela about 11,000 years ago, moments ago in astronomical terms.
It is one of the brightest X-ray objects in the Earth’s night sky.
The gas ejected by this supernova has not yet had time to dissipate, which provides scientists with the opportunity to study this process at a very close distance compared to other recent supernova remnants.
New photographs of a supernova in the constellation Vela are hoped by astronomers to help them understand how interactions between gas, dust and a neutron star at the center of this object affect the scattering of the remains of a dead star, as well as heavy elements generated by it, through outer space.
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