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Hubble spots expanding light echo around supernova

Bringing some of the mysteries of the universe a little closer to home.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:05 pm

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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.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:08 pm

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Light from a supernova explosion in the nearby starburst galaxy M82 is reverberating off a huge dust cloud in interstellar space.

The supernova, called SN 2014J, occurred at the upper right of M82, and is marked by an "X." The supernova was discovered on Jan. 21, 2014

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:10 pm



Over a period of two and a half years, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope observed the "light echo" of supernova SN 2014J in galaxy M82, located 11.4 million light-years away.

 
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