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May 14, 2013
 

Sun Unleashes Spectacular Solar Eruption

A burst of solar material leaps off the left side of the sun in what’s known as a prominence eruption. This image combines three images from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured on May 3, 2013, at 1:45 pm EDT. CREDIT: NASA/SDO/AIA

A burst of solar material leaps off the left side of the sun in what’s known as a prominence eruption. This image combines three images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured on May 3, 2013, at 1:45 pm EDT. CREDIT: NASA/SDO/AI

An intense solar storm erupted from the sun on Friday (May 3) in a dazzling space weather display captured by a NASA spacecraft.

The solar flare erupted from the edge the sun, with NASA’s powerful Solar Dynamics Observatory snapping photos of the sun storm. The flare peaked at 1:32 p.m. EDT (1732 GMT), registering as a relatively medium-strength M5.7-class event.

Friday’s solar storm was the second major space weather event in three days, but was not aimed at Earth. According to astronomer Phil Plait, who chronicled the flare on his Bad Astronomy blog, the solar storm launched super-hot solar plasma about 120,000 miles (200,000 kilometers) above the surface of the sun before it faded from view. –by Tariq Malik, SPACE.com Managing Editor, 04 May 2013

Hubble Sees the Remains of a Star Gone Supernova

These delicate wisps of gas make up an object known as SNR B0519-69.0, or SNR 0519 for short. The thin, blood-red shells are actually the remnants from when an unstable progenitor star exploded violently as a supernova around 600 years ago. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Claude Cornen

These delicate wisps of gas make up an object known as SNR B0519-69.0, or SNR 0519 for short. The thin, blood-red shells are actually the remnants from when an unstable progenitor star exploded violently as a supernova around 600 years ago. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Claude Cornen

These delicate wisps of gas make up an object known as SNR B0519-69.0, or SNR 0519 for short. The thin, blood-red shells are actually the remnants from when an unstable progenitor star exploded violently as a supernova around 600 years ago. There are several types of supernovae, but for SNR 0519 the star that exploded is known to have been a white dwarf star — a Sun-like star in the final stages of its life.

SNR 0519 is located over 150 000 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Dorado (The Dolphinfish), a constellation that also contains most of our neighboring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Because of this, this region of the sky is full of intriguing and beautiful deep sky objects.

The LMC orbits the Milky Way galaxy as a satellite and is the fourth largest in our group of galaxies, the Local Group. SNR 0519 is not alone in the LMC; the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope also came across a similar bauble a few years ago in SNR B0509-67.5, a supernova of the same type as SNR 0519 with a strikingly similar appearance.

European Space Agency/NASA Hubble

at NASA.gov