A blast from the past


Space telescope Hubble has taken probably its most spectacular image ever – of a star blowing itself to bits.
The orbiting observatory recorded an incredibly detailed shot of the dying screams of a supernova.
The dramatic explosion, revealed by Nasa today, is called the Crab nebula and lies in the constellation of Taurus. It is so vast that light takes SIX YEARS to cross from one side of the shell of shattered gas to the other.
It is the aftermath of a cosmic blast 6,500 light years away from Earth that suddenly flared as the brightest star in the sky nearly a thousand years ago in in 1054.
Hubble’s new picture more than rivals its former most famous effort –
the Pillars of Creation which showed a stellar nursery like fingers of
gas.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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