The Art of Science
Photo with 148 notes
(Space.com) A new Hubble image shows an ethereal object, known officially as [SBW2007] 1 but sometimes nicknamed SBW1, a nebula with a giant star at its center. The star originally held twenty times more mass than our sun, but now floats encased in a swirling ring of purple gas, the remains of the distant era when it blew off its outer layers. But the star hides a secret: Scientists say that it will go supernova! 26 years ago, a star with striking similarities went supernova — SN 1987A. Early Hubble images of SN 1987A show similarities to SBW1, which gives a snapshot of SN1987a’s appearance before it exploded. At a distance of more than 20,000 light-years, the supernova will pose no danger to us when goes off. It may even happen in our own lifetimes.