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Tag Archives: HST

From a HST press release, September 24, 2015:

A stunning new set of images from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 capture the scattered stellar remains in spectacular new detail and reveal its expansion over the years since HST last captured them, in 1997.

Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team

Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team

Deriving its name from its delicate, draped filamentary structures, the beautiful Veil Nebula is one of the best-known supernova remnants. It formed from the violent death of a star twenty times the mass of the Sun that exploded about 8000 years ago. Located roughly 2100 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus (The Swan), this brightly coloured cloud of glowing debris spans approximately 110 light-years.

Astronomers suspect that before the Veil Nebula’s source star exploded it expelled a strong stellar wind. This wind blew a large cavity into the surrounding interstellar gas. As the shock wave from the supernova expands outwards, it encounters the walls of this cavity — and forms the nebula’s distinctive structures. Bright filaments are produced as the shock wave interacts with a relatively dense cavity wall, whilst fainter structures are generated by regions nearly devoid of material. The Veil Nebula’s colorful appearance is generated by variations in the temperatures and densities of the chemical elements present; they do not represent the real colors of the nebula.

Links: Full press release and description; images for download and video.

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A new analysis in 2013 of old Hubble Space Telescope images from 2004 has revealed a 12-mile-diameter moon of Neptune, temporarily known as S/2004 N1 (where the S/ means “satellite”).  Its orbital period is 23 hours.

Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., discovered the moon on July 1, while studying the faint ring-arcs of Neptune. It is so small and dim that it is roughly one hundred million times fainter than the faintest star that can be seen with the naked eye.

hs-2013-30-a-web_print

Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute)

Read the full story at the HubbleSite, Scientific American, or Space.com.