The Hubble Space Telescope, in a study to better understand the origins of Type II supernovae, captured this image of the spiral galaxy NGC 298, located roughly 89 million light-years away in the constellation Cetus. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, C. Kilpatrick
The Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of the spiral galaxy NGC 298, formerly the site of a Type II supernova.
The Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of the spiral galaxy NGC 298, formerly the site of a Type II supernova, as part of a study on these stellar explosions. According to Scitechdaily, the research seeks to explain the diversity in Type II supernovae by observing the regions around these events, which could reveal information about the history of the stars and surviving companion stars.
Spiral galaxy NGC 298 lies about 89 million light-years away in the constellation Cetus and only a handful of distant galaxies and foreground stars accompany the lone galaxy. Although NGC 298 appears peaceful, in 1986 it was the site of one of the most extreme events in astronomy: a catastrophic stellar explosion known as a Type II supernova.
The origin of Type II supernovae Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys captured NGC 298 as part of an investigation into the origins of Type II supernovae. The telescope used the short periods between scheduled observations to explore the aftermath of a series of Type II supernovae, hoping to reconstruct the relationship between supernovae and their parent star systems.
All Type II supernovae are produced by the collapse and subsequent explosion of young, massive stars, but they can produce a spectacular diversity of brightness and spectral features. Astronomers suspect that the diversity of this cosmic fireworks display could be due to gas and dust being drawn from stars that will eventually produce Type II supernovae. Observing the region surrounding supernova explosions can reveal traces of the history of the progenitor star preserved in this lost mass, as well as reveal any companion stars that survived the supernova.