The lazily winding spiral arms of the spectacular galaxy NGC 976 fill the body of this picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This spiral galaxy lies round 150 million light-years from the Milky Way within the constellation Aries. Despite its tranquil look, NGC 976 has performed host to one of the violent astronomical phenomena recognized – a supernova explosion. These cataclysmically violent occasions happen on the finish of the lives of large stars and may outshine whole galaxies for a brief interval. While supernovae mark the deaths of large stars, they’re additionally chargeable for the creation of heavy parts which might be included into later generations of stars and planets.
Supernovae are additionally a helpful support for astronomers who measure the distances to faraway galaxies. The quantity of power thrown out into space by some sorts of supernova explosions may be very uniform, permitting astronomers to estimate their distances from how brilliant they seem like when considered from Earth. This picture – which was created utilizing knowledge from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 – comes from a big assortment of Hubble observations of close by galaxies which host supernovae in addition to a pulsating class of stars generally known as Cepheid variables. Both Cepheids and supernovae are used to measure astronomical distances, and galaxies containing each objects present helpful pure laboratories the place the 2 strategies could be calibrated towards each other.
Hubble views a tranquil galaxy with an explosive previous (2022, January 15)
retrieved 15 January 2022
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