This mosaic image, one of the largest ever taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of the Crab Nebula, is a six-light-year-wide expanding remnant of a star's supernova explosion.
The orange filaments are the tattered remains of the star and consist mostly of hydrogen. The rapidly spinning neutron star embedded in the center of the nebula is the dynamo powering the nebula's eerie interior bluish glow. The blue light comes from electrons whirling at nearly the speed of light around magnetic field lines from the neutron star. The neutron star, the crushed ultra-dense core of the exploded star, like a lighthouse, ejects twin beams of radiation that appear to pulse 30 times a second due to the neutron star's rotation. The colors in the image indicate the different elements that were expelled during the explosion. Blue in the filaments in the outer part of the nebula represents neutral oxygen, green is singly-ionized sulfur, and red indicates doubly-ionized oxygen.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester (Arizona State University)
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope recently snapped an infrared image of a “red butterfly” in space and it’s a gorgeous sight with hundreds of baby stars.The “red butterfly” image is actually four images snapped by the telescope’s Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) during its prime mission, which shows the nebula’s glowing blue, green, orange, and red hues.
Turns out the Milky Way is aptly named, with the overall color of our galaxy resembling the shade of fine-grained spring snow in early morning light.
Splitting the light into its component wavelengths, however, reveals a redder-than-average color for the Milky Way's core, and sky-blue spiral arms.
Understanding the color of the Milky Way allows us to compare other galaxies to it because for most galaxies all we can measure is how bright they are and what color they are. It's really frustrating that that's exactly what we can't measure about the Milky Way from our position inside it,"
Something strange happened in the sky one summer night in 2018, and astronomers are still trying to figure out exactly what occurred. But their telescopes were in the right position to capture a mysterious bright object flaring in the sky before it vanished.