Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




SKY NIGHTLY
WISE Sees An Explosion Of Infrared Light
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 13, 2010


In this WISE image, infrared light has been color-coded to reveal what our eyes cannot see. The colors differ primarily because materials surrounding the supernova remnant vary in density. When the shock waves hit these materials, different gases were triggered to release a mix of infrared wavelengths. The supernova remnant's northeastern shell, seen here as the violet-colored semi-circle at top left, is composed of sheet-like filaments that are emitting light from iron, neon, silicon and oxygen gas atoms and dust particles heated by a fast shock wave traveling at about 100 kilometers per second, or 223,700 mph. The smaller southern shell, seen in bright bluish colors, is constructed of clumps and knots primarily emitting light from hydrogen gas and dust heated by a slower shock wave traveling at about 30 kilometers per second, or 67,100 miles per hour. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

This oddly colorful nebula is the supernova remnant IC 443 as seen by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Also known as the Jellyfish nebula, IC 443 is particularly interesting because it provides a look into how stellar explosions interact with their environment.

IC 443 can be found near the star Eta Geminorum, which lies near Castor, one of the twins in the constellation Gemini.

Just like human beings, stars have a life cycle - they are born, mature and eventually die. The manner in which stars die depends on their mass. Stars with mass similar to the sun typically become planetary nebulae at the end of their lives, whereas stars with many times the sun's mass explode as supernovae.

IC 443 is the remains of a star that went supernova somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. The blast from the supernova sent out shock waves that traveled through space, sweeping up and heating the surrounding gas and dust in the interstellar medium, and creating the supernova remnant seen in this image.

What is unusual about the IC 443 is that its shell-like form has two halves that have different radii, structures and emissions.

The larger northeastern shell, seen here as the violet-colored semi-circle on the top left of the supernova remnant, is composed of sheet-like filaments that are emitting light from iron, neon, silicon and oxygen gas atoms, in addition to dust particles, all heated by the blast from the supernova.

The smaller southern shell, seen here in a bright cyan color on the bottom half of the image, is constructed of denser clumps and knots primarily emitting light from hydrogen gas and heated dust.

These clumps are part of a molecular cloud, which can be seen in this image as the greenish cloud cutting across IC 443 from the northwest to southeast. The color differences seen in this image represent different wavelengths of infrared emission.

The differences in color are also the result of differences in the energies of the shock waves hitting the interstellar medium. The northeastern shell was probably created by a fast shock wave (100 kilometers per second or 223,700 miles per hour), whereas the southern shell was probably created by a slow shock wave (30 kilometers per second or 67,100 miles per hour).

All WISE featured images use color to represent specific infrared wavelengths. Blue represents 3.4-micron light, cyan represents 4.6-micron light, green represents 12-micron light and red represents 22-micron light. In this image, we see a mixing of blue and cyan in the southern ridge that is not often seen in other WISE images.

The northeastern shell appears violet, indicating a mixture of longer infrared wavelengths from cooler dust (red) and shorter infrared wavelengths from luminescent gas (blue).

.


Related Links
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer WISE
Astronomy News from Skynightly.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SKY NIGHTLY
A Swarm Of Ancient Stars
Paris, France (SPX) Dec 09, 2010
We know of about 150 of the rich collections of old stars called globular clusters that orbit our galaxy, the Milky Way. This sharp new image of Messier 107, captured by the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, displays the structure of one such globular cluster in exquisite detail. Studying these stellar swarms has revealed much about the hi ... read more


SKY NIGHTLY
Robotic Excavations Could Help Get Helium 3 From Moon To Earth

A Softer Landing on the Moon

Neptec Wins Canadian Space Agency Contract To Develop A New Generation Of Lunar Rovers

Mission to far side of moon proposed

SKY NIGHTLY
Wind And Water Have Shaped Schiaparelli On Mars

The Three Ages Of Mars

Odyssey Orbiter Nears Martian Longevity Record

Drilling For The Future Of Science

SKY NIGHTLY
Discovery Of The Secrets That Enable Plants Near Chernobyl To Shrug Off Radiation

South Africa unveils space agency

NASA sells PCs still containing data

SwRI Researchers Continue Starfighters Suborbital Space Flight Training

SKY NIGHTLY
China Builds Theme Park In Spaceport

Tiangong Space Station Plans Progessing

China-Made Satellite Keeps Remote Areas In Venezuela Connected

Optis Software To Optimize Chinese Satellite Design

SKY NIGHTLY
ISS Tracks Months-Long Voyages Of Ships At Sea

Busy Day For ISS Commander

NASA Seeks Nonprofit To Manage ISS National Lab Research

Expedition 25 Returns Home

SKY NIGHTLY
The Flight Of The Dragon

SpaceX Dragon Does Two Orbits Before Pacific Splashdown

NASA, SpaceX giddy over historic orbit launch

ISRO Hands Two Contracts To Arianespace

SKY NIGHTLY
NASA Scientists Theorize Final Growth Spurt For Planets

Astronomers Detect First Carbon-Rich Exoplanet

NASA's Spitzer Reveals First Carbon-Rich Planet

Astronomers Discover New Planet In Planetary System Very Similar To Our Own

SKY NIGHTLY
Taiwan to approve three billion dollar China plant: report

Tablet computers come of age in 2010 with iPad mania

World's First Microlaser Emitting In 3-D

Sony and Sharp launch e-readers, tablets in Japan




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement