It“s Halloween Time In Space Too; NASA”s Hubble Captures Eerie Celestial Images


NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured some eerie celestial images that appear to be a glimpse into a hypnotising vortex.

Not only is it Halloween on Earth, but also in space. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured some spooky celestial images that appear to be a glimpse inside a witch’s pot or a vast space spider web.

In truth, it is an ageing big red star named CW Leonis that is embedded among the star’s gossamer cobwebs of dust. At a range of 400 light-years from Earth, it is the nearest carbon star.

CW Leonis

The star appears to be encased in fuzzy orange spider webs that swirl around it. The orange-red “cobwebs” are devouring dusty clouds of sooty carbon. They were formed when the outer walls of CW Leonis were ejected into the pitch-black vacuum.

Carbon was generated as a byproduct of nuclear fusion in the star’s core. Carbon ejected into space serves as a precursor to the development of potential stars, planets, and maybe even life.

This allows scientists to study the star’s interaction with its chaotic envelope. Intense magnetic fields may form shells and arcs within a star. Detailed Hubble views of CW Leonis throughout the last two decades show ejected debris expanding around the star.

From an astronomical perspective, 15 years is a very small timeframe in which it changed its brightness. CW Leonis is shrouded in dust, but astronomers believe that openings in the dust allow photons to pass through and highlight the star. The source of the drastic fluctuations in their luminosity is yet unknown.

CW Leonis is orange-reddish because of its low surface temperature of 2,300°F. The star’s green-tinted light beams shine at invisible mid-infrared wavelengths. In the lack of natural colour, green was added to the infrared picture for colour contrast analysis.

Youtube Screenshot

Across the cosmos, stars are dying; Why aren’t we seeing them?

It was on July 4, 1054 that Chinese and Japanese astronomers observed a new, iridescent yellow point of light in the constellation Taurus, 6,500 light years away. This “guest star,” said to be as bright as the moon, failed to disappear with the rising sun for almost a month, shining both night and day. But the 1054 supernova is one of just five confirmed in historical records, the last occurring almost 400 years ago.

Supernovae are more likely to occur in the Milky Way. The galaxy is shaped like two cooked eggs placed yolk-side up, with a flat disc in the centre and a spherical bulge. Stars, especially massive red giants on the verge of bursting, should be more prone to supernovae near the core. Earlier calculations showed a star di‌es in the bulge or disc every several decades.

Only one in every five supernovae is intense enough to burn through the dusty veil and light for 90 days, thus such an event occurs once per century or two, according to historical records.

The resulting result was a simple map showing where the brightest supernovae are most likely to occur. Scientists have identified 300 such cases clustered in the galactic disc and notably towards the Milky Way’s core.

The researchers can’t make statistical as‌sertions based on a small sample size. Some of these ideas may be challenged by the unusual locations of past supernovae.

A spectacular and enduring supernova may be rare, but astronomers and the internet will help us find a fainter dot. Fields think that 50% of all supernovae are visible if you know where to look. And one might arrive any day soon.  

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