NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a frightening but intriguing image ahead of Halloween amid technical difficulties. The carbon star CW Leonis, which is in the constellation Leo, has a terrible starry orange eye peeking out from behind a veil of smoke. It is about 400 light years from Earth.
Heading into Halloween, Hubble treated the astronomical nerds with additional material that would be appropriate for the occasion. On his Twitter feed, the space observatory shared eight unusual and frightening celestial images. NASA has compiled the entire presentation into a two-minute video clip.
Happy (almost) Halloween! ??
Hubble has seen a number of spooky cosmic objects, but nothing compares to a recent image of a “spider’s web” in space.
Look, if you dare …
Learn more: https://t.co/NGMo79YTXj pic.twitter.com/ZUk4K5IGoj
– Hubble (@NASAHubble) 28 October 2021
Hubble shares scary image of dying star
The cosmic spider web, a giant red star named CW Leonis, is the most prominent of the spooky music videos. Not only does it look great, but its intensity of space activity has amazed experts.
Its orange-red “spider webs”, according to NASA, are dusty clouds of sooty coal enveloping the dying star. The unusual outer layers were created by carbon from its internal nuclear fusion exploding in space. The star’s magnetic field shapes the internal structure, which looks like arcs or “spaces between the threads of the web”. The space, as it is customary, obeys the principles of nature, which gives astonishing and surprising views.
The dust cloud surrounding CW Leonis could let in starlight, researchers say. However, they’re still looking for what’s causing the extreme brightness of CW Leonis. They speculate that her heart and surrounding envelope plasma have started to fuse with hydrogen, forming the outer layers that swell around the swollen red giant.
1 / 🎃 Who is it, looking at you, with its ominous orange eye shining behind a shroud of smoke? Why, this is carbon star CW Leonis, the Hubble treat for #Halloween!
Credit: @ESA / @Hubble_Space / @NASA , T. Ueta, H. Kim pic.twitter.com/sUSB1dZyIr
– HUBBLE (@HUBBLE_space) 28 October 2021
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The surface temperature of CW Leonis and its orange-reddish extension is only 2300 degrees Fahrenheit. The mid-infrared wavelengths made some of its parts invisible, eventually replaced by the green streaks shown in the photo.
CW Leonis is only 400 light years from Earth, making it the closest carbon star to the planet. This ideal location allows researchers to observe and assess the star and its interactions with the surrounding environment.
The dying star explained
According to Republic World, the external pressure that balances gravity in their nuclei becomes imbalanced when tiny to intermediate mass stars run out of fuel (hydrogen) in their nuclei. This factor causes the star to collapse. After the core collapses, the plasma shell surrounding it becomes unbearably hot, causing the remaining hydrogen to melt. The heat generated by this fusion causes the outer layers of the star to expand, turning it into a swollen red giant. This carbon-rich red giant star is now in the aforementioned era of its existence and is shrouded in a dense veil of soot dust.
(Photo: ESA / Hubble, NASA, and Toshiya Ueta (University of Denver), Hyosun Kim (KASI))
Just in time for Halloween, the red giant star CW Leonis gives us a view of orange-red “spider webs” that are dusty clouds of sooty coal engulfing the dying star.
Interestingly, CW Leonis is the closest carbon star to Earth, providing scientists with the opportunity to study the star’s interaction with its envelope. Detailed Hubble studies of CW Leonis over the previous two decades also reveal the growth of ring-shaped threads of ejected debris surrounding the star.
Hubble Space Telescope in Safe Mode
NASA’s Hubble Telescope revealed technical issues with the famous space telescope earlier this week, Science Times said. After “experiencing timing issues with the spacecraft’s internal communications,” the spacecraft entered safe mode. Fortunately, NASA has said all of its instruments are in good working order.
Although Hubble is decades old, it has provided many incredible photographs and films of space activity. Researchers and space enthusiasts are hoping for many new discoveries from the space telescope later this year.
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