A new image from NASA Hubble has shown a colorful spiral galaxy that has an explosive past. Apart from this, NASA Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra Observatory also captured the burning wings of the so-called Butterfly Nebula.
NASA’s Hubble image shows stunning view of massive spiral galaxy
To further emphasize this spiral galaxy, the space agency said the photo acquired from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope showed how the flowing spiral arms of NGC 976 filled the image. This historic galaxy is located in the constellation of Aries and remains 150 million light-years from the Milky Way.
This breathtaking #HubbleFriday The view shows the spiral galaxy NGC 976. It is located 150 million light-years away in the constellation Aries.
—Hubble (@NASAHubble) January 14, 2022
Despite its serene appearance, NGC 976 was the scene of an astronomical event: a supernova explosion.
What’s more, ScreenRant explained that when a star reaches the end of its life, it explodes in a massive, dazzling explosion that can be brighter than an entire galaxy. Although these explosions are extremely powerful and demolish everything in their path, they also represent the start of something new.
“While supernovae mark the death of massive stars, they are also responsible for the creation of heavy elements that are incorporated into subsequent generations of stars and planets,” said the NASA blog post continued.
Despite this, supernovas offer many advantages. One of the benefits this event brings is that these massive explosions can help astronomers determine the distance between galaxies such as NGC 976.
While some of the energy released by a supernova is chaotic and uncontrollable, some is quite uniform.
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In addition to helping, NASA’s Hubble image, which was made using data from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, is part of a massive collection of Hubble views of nearby galaxies that exhibit supernovae and Cepheid variables – which is a pulsating type of star.
Cepheids and supernovae are used to calculate astronomical distances, and galaxies containing both objects can be used as natural laboratories to compare the two approaches.
Besides this Hubble image, the space telescope also more recently captured the burning wings of the Butterfly Nebula.
NASA Hubble image shows the burning wings of the Butterfly Nebula
According to Chandra Observatory’s Twitter post, the “wings” of the Butterfly Nebula may appear covered in snow and ice. Despite its snowy appearance, this image of Chandra and Hubble is misleading.
Regarding this, the Twitter post explained that the wings were actually burning hot gas regions with temperatures above 20,000 degrees Celsius. They contain a speed of over 950,000 kilometers per hour.
The “wings” of the Butterfly Nebula may appear covered in snow and ice in this Chandra and Hubble image, but looks can be deceiving. The wings are actually hot regions of gas at temperatures above 20,000°C moving at over 950,000 kilometers per hour. pic.twitter.com/ynW2Ttdbof
— Chandra Observatory (@chandraxray) January 14, 2022
This nebula, also known as NGC 6302, is located about 3,400 light-years from Earth and is in the constellation Scorpius.
For those wondering why it’s shaped like a butterfly, some scientists believe that before the Butterfly Nebula became a nebula, it had a binary star system at its center, rotating in the plane that is currently recognized as the body of the butterfly, Massive science.
Chandra’s sighting explained that nebulae are the ejected envelope of a red giant star, spread over a region the size of our solar system, with a hot central star growing into a white dwarf star.
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