Hubble captures ‘heavenly clouds’ and a red supergiant star recovering from an explosion

Hubble captures 'heavenly clouds' and a red supergiant star recovering from an explosion

The Hubble Space Telescope, the “older cousin” of the James Webb Super-Telescope, continues to operate and make unprecedented and startling records of our Universe.

This week, attesting that the instrument launched by NASA in 1990 has not aged and remains important to science, Hubble released both an image of a shimmering and colorful space structure and new data on the history cosmic image of a supergiant star. (see below).

The photo released jointly by NASA and the European Space Agency (see picture above) shows the region of the Orion Nebula (a star-forming site) around the object Herbig Haro HH 505, approx. 1000 light years from Earth.

The American space agency explains that these are regions of nebulosity associated with nascent stars. They form when stellar winds or jets of gas expelled from these stars form shock waves that collide with gas and dust at very high speeds.

“These expelled winds are visible as graceful curvilinear structures at the top and bottom of this image. Their interaction with the large-scale flow of gas and dust from the nebula’s core distorts them into sinuous curves,” NASA explains. .

Also according to NASA, the image was captured using a Hubble instrument that surveys large areas of space with tremendous detail.

It was astronomers studying the properties of these high-energy flows that captured it.

Betelgeuse: a red supergiant star

That same week, after analyzing scientific data from Hubble and several other observatories, a group of astronomers also revealed that the red supergiant star Betelgeuseone of the largest stars ever known, produced a gigantic explosion about 400 billion times greater than emissions of the type caused by our star, the Sun (see illustration below).

Artist’s impression of the explosion of the red supergiant Betelgeuse. — Photo: NASA, ESA, Elizabeth Wheatley (STScI)

In the process, NASA revealed in a statement, the star lost a substantial portion of its surface, producing a gigantic mass ejection several times the size of our Moon.

NASA explains that it is “something never seen in the behavior of a normal star” and that the red supergiant that is about 530 light years from Earth is still slowly recovering from this “catastrophic turnaround”.

“We’ve never seen a huge mass ejection from the surface of a star,” said Andrea Dupree, a scientist at the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Massachusetts, US.

“It’s a totally new phenomenon that we can directly observe and resolve surface details with Hubble. We observe stellar evolution in real time.”

Betelgeuse is one of the brightest stars that can be seen in the night sky. The star is so large that if it replaced the Sun at the center of our solar system, its outer surface would extend beyond Jupiter’s orbit.

According to the NASA press release, the material ejection took place in 2019lasted a few months and was easily noticeable even by amateur observers, because as it moved millions of miles away from the star, the ejected material formed the dust cloud that blocked the light from the star here on Earth.

Scientists now hope that the James Webb Super Telescope will be able to detect material ejected by the supergiant, which continues to move away from the star.

#Hubble #captures #heavenly #clouds #red #supergiant #star #recovering #explosion