Social media is a blessing for not just fashion enthusiasts but science nerds as well. Gone are the days when space-enthusiasts would have to buy prints from NASA if they ever wanted to know what new discovery has been made in the vast cosmos. Just hop on over to NASA’s official Instagram page or any of its ancillary telescope pages and you will be in for a treat.
In the latest gift for their fans, NASA has shared a mesmerising image of an exploded star.
The remnants of a supernova called E0102 was shared by the agency as a St Patrick’s Day gift. The colours of St Patty’s day are green and neon-bright and the image of this supernova is well-suited for this occasion with its bright blues, greens, and yellows.
NASA’s Chandra Telescope’s official Instagram page shared the picture and they even wrote a little poem about the dead star. It read:
“There once was a massive star,
200,000 light-years afar.
It collapsed and went boom,
A debris field abloom,
And no you can’t get there by car.
Hundreds of people rushed in to comment about the beauty of the cosmos whereas many congratulated the space agency on their very creative poem.
The image is a re-share as it was originally captured in 2018. NASA then described the phenomenon as a result of a massive star explosion in a nearby galaxy called the Small Magellanic Cloud. The image is a composite made with the help of two-three different telescopes. The central part which is blue and purple are X-rays taken by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. These images helped astronomers confirm a long promoted hypothesis that most of the oxygen in the universe is synthesized in massive stars. They estimate that the amount of oxygen present in the E0102-72.3 ring as observed could be enough for thousands of solar systems.
As Chandra is an X-Ray telescope, the image was composited with the help of optical telescopes as well. The red and green parts are imaged with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile.