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Author Topic: New image of Southern Crab Nebula  (Read 306 times)

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Offline Psk

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New image of Southern Crab Nebula
« on: April 19, 2019, 11:53:18 PM »
Hubble took new image of the Southern Crab Nebula.

The decision to image the Southern Crab Nebula was for this year's Hubble Telescope birthday photo.

The Southern Crab Nebula sits in the constellation Centaurus, about 7,000 light-years away from Earth. What look like the legs and pincers of a cosmic crab are actually twin bubbles of gas and dust burped out by a pair of stars at the nebula's center. This celestial couple is composed of one red giant... a huge, dying star in the process of molting its outer shell of matter, and one white dwarf... the tiny, dead husk of hot crystal that remains once a red giant has loosed its last burst of gas.

This binary duo coexists in a relationship where the dying red giant continuously feeds gas and dust into the white dwarf via its gravitational pull. After piling up for thousands of years, all that space schmutz may spark an eruption on the white dwarf's sizzling surface, sending matter scattering through space in giant bubbles. Astronomers think this has happened twice in the relatively recent past, giving rise to the twin splatters of glowing matter visible in Hubble's images of the nebula.

A similar celestial explosion could even happen again under Hubble's watch in the near future.

 

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