Dramatic Farewell: Supergiant Star’s Fiery End Illuminates Orion in a Celestial Spectacle of Cosmic Flames

The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX), located on the Chajnantor Plateau in Chile’s Atacama Desert, captured the Flame Nebula in Orion at radio wavelengths.

The nebula is one of half a dozen star-forming regions imaged as part of the APEX Large CO Heterodyne Orion Legacy Survey (ALCOHOLS). This survey maps carbon monoxide gas as a tracer of star-forming gas in the galaxy.

APOD: A Lion in Orion

While clouds of molecular hydrogen, which may ultimately collapse into stars, are difficult to see on their own, the small amounts of mixed-in carbon monoxide shine at radio wavelengths, highlighting denser filaments and clumps.

The Horsehead Nebula and the Flame Nebula in Orion ( Marzena Rogozińska ) - AstroBin

Stardeath: Supernova Caught in the Act

Astronomers have captured the final months of a red supergiant star’s life.

Using the Pan-STARRS telescope on Haleakalā and the W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, both in Hawai’i, astronomers caught not only the star going supernova, in an event dubbed SN 2020tlf, but the death throes that portended the event.

Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula in Orion Constellation SHO+RGB ( Jian Yuan Peng ) - AstroBin

Roughly four months pre-supernova, in the summer of 2020, Wynn Jacobson-Galán (University of California, Berkeley) and colleagues noticed an unexpectedly bright red supergiant. The star was likely casting off its outer layers in preparation for its final act. That fall, the star went supernova, and the astronomers were watching. Measuring the explosion’s spectrum, they confirmed the tell-tale signature of shock waves blasting into dense material around the exploded star.

Sia

Related Posts

Kuiper Belt’s Vastness Challenges Solar System Mapping, Forcing a Reevaluation of Celestial Dimensions

An illustration of the Kuiper Belt. (Image credit: NASA/SOFIA/Lynette Cook) NASA’s New Horizons mission, which encountered Pluto in 2015 is now riding through the deepest depths of…

Are You Ready? Top 10 US Cities for 2024’s Great American Eclipse, Spanning from Texas to Indiana and Beyond

On April 8, more than two dozen US cities will plunge into darkness when a total solar eclipse completely blots out the sun. These cities are in…

Journey Through Time: Voyager’s Encounter with Jupiter 45 Years Ago, a Fascinating Comparison with Modern-day Planet Imagery

Voyager was one of NASA’s most ambitious missions, and Jupiter is arguably our solar system’s most beautiful planet. So when the two met for the first time,…

James Webb Telescope Captures Unbelievable 13 Billion-Year-Old Galaxy, Defying Known Laws of Existence, Perplexing NASA

NASA’s new space telescope spotted a 13 billion-year-old galaxy that is much too complex to exist that early in the universe. The galaxy, which is bigger than…

Webb Space Telescope Unveils Neutron Star Birth from Supernova 1987A, A Monumental Milestone in Cosmic Discovery

I can remember seeing images of SN1987A as it developed back in 1987. It was the explosion of a star, a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud….

Helicopter’s Homage: Ingenuity’s Martian Memorial Pays Tribute to ‘Undying Lands’ from ‘Lord of the Rings’ in Legendary Gesture

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover captured this mosaic showing the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at its final airfield on Feb. 4, 2024. The Ingenuity team has nicknamed the spot…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *