Chandra and Hubble composite of SNR 0509
Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.Hughes et al, Optical: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)


The cosmos ornaments itself in many ways. One near perfect example are bubbles of glowing hydrogen gas and X-ray emitting plasma, like that shown above. This bubble is the remnant produced by the deflagration of a white dwarf star that exploded in a neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. It's shown in a beautiful composite from the Hubble Space Telescope, which reveals a thin outer shock highlighted in pink, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory showing the glowing X-ray emitting gas in blue. Astronomers use such events as standard candles to light the deepest depths of the Universe and to reveal all that was hidden, like the mysterious Dark Energy driving the Universe apart. Perhaps to a Big Rip at the end of time. More pleasant to contemplate the wonders of the present, like beautiful supernova bubbles, glowing nebulae, galaxies, stars and planets.
Published: December 20, 2010

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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, 27-Dec-2010 07:53:00 EST