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Hubble captures supernova explosions

Supernovas might spell the end for the star they happen to, but they aren’t only destructive phenomena. When a star approaches the end of its life and runs out of fuel, it explodes in an enormous outpouring of energy, leaving behind a small, dense core that becomes a black hole or a neutron star. This…

Supernovas can spell doom for the star they occur to, but they’re not necessarily destructive. A star that is nearing the end of its lifespan and has run out of fuel explodes in an explosion, leaving behind a dense, small core that can become a black hole, or a neutron-star. Although this explosion can be devastating on an epic scale it can also leave behind a beautiful residual formed by the shock wave.

A image recently released by the Hubble Space Telescope team shows one such supernova remnant, called DEM L249. This delicate structure was captured by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 instrument. It is located in the constellation Mensa. It is made from gas and dust that were ejected from the star’s position by the blast.

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the tattered remnant of a supernova — a titanic explosion marking the end of the life of a dying star. This object — known as DEM L249 — is thought to have been created by a Type 1a supernova during the death throes of a white dwarf. While white dwarfs are usually stable, they can slowly accrue matter if they are part of a binary star system. This accretion of matter continues until the white dwarf reaches a critical mass and undergoes a catastrophic supernova explosion, ejecting a vast amount of material into space in the process.
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the tattered remnant of a supernova — a titanic explosion marking the end of the life of a dying star. ESA/Hubble & NASA, Y. Chu

“This object — known as DEM L249 — is thought to have been created by a Type 1a supernova during the death throes of a white dwarf,” the Hubble scientists write. “While white dwarfs are usually stable, they can slowly accrue matter if they are part of a binary star system. The accretion process continues until the white dwarf attains a critical mass. In this case, the supernova explosion that ejects large amounts of material into the universe .”

causes the matter to continue to accret.

This remnant is located around 160,000 light-years from Earth in a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way called the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Hubble is used by researchers to observe the LMC in order to learn more about star evolution. It is relatively close and not obscured too much dust.

” The LMC is an ideal laboratory for astronomers to study the births, lives and deaths of stars. It is located near Earth and orientated towards Earth. According to the Hubble team, the LMC was discovered during a systematic search of the LMC for the surviving companions of white dwarf stars that have gone supernova. The data shown in this image were collected by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 instrument. They were obtained from a systematic search of LMC for white dwarf stars that have become supernova .

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