Rubble, bubble, stars in trouble

A cosmic bubble has hit rubble trouble – no thanks to Hubble.
The bubble is a shell of gas wrapped around the entire solar system.
But it is being battered by debris from stars that died in violent supernova explosions across the universe.
Hubble is unable to see any sign of the deep-space battering.
But expert Michelle Supper analysed tell-tale X-ray signals picked up by another space telescope called XMM-Newton, she told astronomers meeting in Leicester yesterday.
The bubble around the solar system is itself left over from a star that blew itself to bits millions of years ago.
More recent blasts have created a wave of debris that is now pushing it into an hourglass shape.
That wave is the edge of a “superbubble” caused by the more recent supernovae.
Michelle, from Leicester University, said: “The X-ray radiation is very faint. To see it, we’ve had to remove all the light from stars, nebulae and cosmic rays from the images.
“It’s the astronomical equivalent of looking at an aquarium, ignoring the fish and seeing only the water.”

© Paul Sutherland. Unauthorised reproduction forbidden.

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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