Washington, Dec 15 (ANI): NASA's Hubble space telescope has photographed what looks like a festive bauble of gas in our neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Formed in the aftermath of a supernova explosion that took place four centuries ago, this sphere of gas has been snapped in a series of observations made between 2006 and 2010.
The delicate shell appears to float serenely in the depths of space, but this apparent calm hides an inner turmoil.Named SNR B0509-67.5 (or SNR 0509 for short), the bubble is the visible remnant of a powerful stellar explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) about 160,000 light-years from Earth.
Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys observed the supernova remnant on 28 October 2006 with a filter that isolates light from the 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 4 November 2010.
With an age of about 400 years, the supernova might have been visible to southern hemisphere observers around the year 1600, although there are no known records of a 'new star' in the direction of the LMC near that time.
A much more recent supernova in the LMC, SN 1987A, didcatch the eye of Earth viewers and continues to be studied with ground- and space-based telescopes, including Hubble. (ANI)