An X-ray and optical image of the supernova remnant E0102
Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/ESO/F.Vogt et al); Optical (ESO/VLT/MUSE), Optical (NASA/STScI)

The Selfless Gift

Somewhere in the heavenly void, long ago, a star, exhausted and overweight, exploded in an outpouring of light. If we follow that star, and the repercussions of that event, we find something of profound importance: that death sent shockwaves into space, bringing new gifts of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen (along with sodium, magnesium, phosphorus, aluminum, potassium, arsenic, bromine, selenium and, to superman's distress, krypton). These elements, created by this star, were distributed to mark its death and to enrich its poor home galaxy. Perhaps, one day, these gifts will be used to create a new star orbited by a small, rocky, fortuitously habituated planet, a shelter for new life. Of such miracles angels sing.
Published: December 24, 2018

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!
Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Monday, 31-Dec-2018 08:38:11 EST