Across the Universe, every ending is a new beginning. When a massive star dies, exploding as a spectacular supernova, huge amounts of matter and energy are ejected into surrounding space, and the remnant of the explosion itself remains a hub of fierce activity for thousands of years.
One of the most iconic supernova remnants is the Crab Nebula. A wispy and filamentary cloud of gas and dust, it originated with a supernova explosion that was seen by Chinese astronomers in the year 1054. A spinning neutron star – or pulsar – remains at its centre, releasing streams of highly energetic particles into the nebula.
This composite image combines a new infrared view of the Crab Nebula, obtained with ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, with an optical image from the archives of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Herschel’s observations are shown in red and reveal the glow from cosmic dust present in the nebula. Hubble’s view, in blue, traces oxygen and sulphur gas in the nebula.
A team of astronomers studying the nebula with Herschel has revealed that this supernova remnant contains much more dust than they had expected – about a quarter of the mass of the Sun.
The new observations also revealed the presence of molecules containing argon, the first time a noble gas-based molecule has been found in space.
Argon is produced in the nuclear reactions that take place during supernova explosions, and astronomers had already detected this element in the Crab Nebula. However, it is surprising that argon bonded with other elements, forming molecules that survived in the hostile environment of a supernova remnant, with hot gas still expanding at high speeds after the explosion.
Image credits: ESA/Herschel/PACS/MESS Key Programme Supernova Remnant Team; NASA, ESA and Allison Loll/Jeff Hester (Arizona State University)
"I was young. It was just the kind of shit that actresses have to go through. Somebody told me I was fat, that I was going to get fired if I didn’t lose a certain amount of weight. They brought in pictures of me where I was basically naked, and told me to use them as motivation for my diet. It was just that. [Someone brought it up recently] They thought that because of the way my career had gone, it wouldn’t still hurt me. That somehow, after I won an Oscar, I’m above it all. ‘You really still care about that?’ Yeah. I was a little girl. I was hurt. It doesn’t matter what accolades you get. I know it’ll never happen to me again. If anybody even tries to whisper the word ‘diet’, I’m like, ‘You can go fuck yourself.”
A Random Viking Fact I Found Out
When a viking mistreats his lady, she may cut off his junk and hang it in her home.
- Women were in charge of the household’s money because they were believed to be magic and have the ability to see into the future.
- If a woman divorced her viking husband, he would be shamed for being divorced.
- Men weren’t even allowed to touch a woman’s hand if she had not agreed to it or he would be punished by law.