Home > Astronomy, Cosmology, General Astronomy, Nebulae, Supernovae > Life And Death In A Star-Forming Cloud

Life And Death In A Star-Forming Cloud


Herschel’s three-colour infrared view of supernova remnant W44. Credits: Herschel: Q. Nguyen Luong & F. Motte, HOBYS Key Program consortium, Herschel SPIRE/PACS/ESA consortia

The aftershock of a stellar explosion rippling through space is captured in this new view of supernova remnant W44, which combines far-infrared and X-ray data from ESA’s Herschel and XMM-Newton space observatories.

W44, located around 10 000 light-years away within a forest of dense star-forming clouds in the constellation of Aquila, the Eagle, is one of the best examples of a supernova remnant interacting with its parent molecular cloud.

The product of a massive star that has already reached the end of its life and expelled its outer layers in a dramatic explosion, all that remains of the stellar behemoth is the spinning core of a neutron star, or pulsar.

It is thought to be around 20 000 years old and as it rapidly rotates it sweeps out a wind of highly energetic particles and beams of light ranging from radio to X-ray energies.

Full Story: http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMNPE72Q8H_index_0.html

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