A team of astronomers from European Southern Observatory Record the remains of a giant star. An image taken by the VLT Survey Telescope in Chile shows colorful remnants floating in space where the star exploded 11,000 years ago.
The remnants of the Vela star, as it was named, are spread over an area about 600 times the size of the solar system. According to astronomers, pink and orange clouds of gas are scattered 800 light-years from Earth.
Before it exploded, the star had a mass of at least eight times the mass of the star Sun. Inside the remnant is a star dense with neutrons and protons that spin rapidly and emit colorful beams of light.
“Most of the material that lights up is caused by excited hydrogen atoms,” explains Bruno Lebondgot, an astronomer affiliated with the European Southern Observatory. “The beauty of images like these is that we can directly see the material inside the star.”
The astronomer further explained that the material inside the star, which had accumulated over millions of years, was now exposed and would cool over millions of years, until new stars formed.
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