Hubble spots expanding light echo around supernova
Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:05 pm
Credit: NASA, ESA, and Y. Yang (Texas A&M University and Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)- Acknowledgment: M. Mountain (AURA) and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
The inset images at top reveal an expanding shell of light from the stellar explosion sweeping through interstellar space, called a "light echo." The images were taken 10 months to nearly two years after the violent event (Nov. 6, 2014, to Oct. 12, 2016). The light is bouncing off a giant dust cloud that extends 300 to 1,600 light-years from the supernova and is being reflected toward Earth.
SN 2014J is classified as a Type Ia supernova and is the closest such blast in at least four decades. A Type Ia supernova occurs in a binary star system consisting of a burned-out white dwarf and a companion star. The white dwarf explodes after the companion dumps too much material onto it.
The image of M82 reveals a bright blue disk, webs of shredded clouds, and fiery-looking plumes of glowing hydrogen blasting out of its central regions.
Source / Image Courtesy