Astronomers spy on the mind of a star and cosmic cobwebs

Astronomers spy on the mind of a star and cosmic cobwebs

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news of fascinating discoveries, scientific progress and more.


Colorful, ghostly remains float in space where a massive star exploded 11,000 years ago.

The remnant of the Vela supernova, named after the Vela constellation, is all that remains after the star has reached the end of its life.

Pink and orange gas clouds mark the spot 800 light-years away from Earth, making it one of its most well-known features. (A light year is about 6 trillion miles.)

When the star went supernova, shock waves traveled through the surrounding layers of gas released by the star.

The energetic waves compressed the gas, creating threadlike filaments that resemble wispy cobwebs.

In a new image of the Vela supernova remnant, captured by the European Southern Observatory’s VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, the glowing threads of gas appear to glow from the heat of the shock waves.

The eerily beautiful face where the star died was fittingly released on Halloween.

Within the remnant is a dense neutron star, or pulsar, that spins rapidly, giving off rays like a celestial lighthouse — but it’s just outside the area shown in the image.

Nine full moons would fit within the detailed perspective, and the image only reflects part of the giant cloud.

The European Southern Observatory also shared detailed images of intriguing elements in the mosaic. The 12 highlights zoom in on different aspects of the area’s bright stars and gas clouds.

Dazzling colors and starlight swirl together in the new image of the remnant of the Vela supernova.

The image, which contains 554 million pixels, was captured by the wide-angle OmegaCAM on the telescope. The 268-million-pixel camera can capture images using several filters that allow for different wavelengths of light and colors — hence the magenta, blue, green, and red colors in the image.

The VLT Survey Telescope is one of the largest telescopes to inspect the night sky with visible light and help astronomers unravel the secrets of star formation and death.

#Astronomers #spy #mind #star #cosmic #cobwebs

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *