Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

A microquasar makes a giant manatee nebula

21.01.2013
A new view of a 20,000-year old supernova remnant demonstrates the upgraded imaging power of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and provides more clues to the history of this giant cloud that resembles a beloved endangered species, the Florida Manatee.

W50 is one of the largest supernova remnants ever viewed by the VLA. At nearly 700 light years across, it covers two degrees on the sky – that's the span of four full Moons!


The National Radio Astronomy Observatory has adopted a new nickname for W50 of "The Manatee Nebula," because the likeness between it and a resting Florida Manatee is too uncanny to ignore. Left: The W50 supernova remnant in radio (green) glows against the infrared background of stars and dust (red). Right: A Florida Manatee rests underwater in Three Sisters Springs in Crystal River, Florida.

Credit: Left: NSF's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA), NRAO/AUI/NSF, K. Golap, M. Goss; NASA’s Wide Field Survey Explorer (WISE). Right: Tracy Colson

Turbulent History

The enormous W50 cloud formed when a giant star, 18,000 light years away in the constellation of Aquila, exploded as a supernova around twenty thousand years ago, sending its outer gases flying outward in an expanding bubble.

The remaining, gravitationally-crushed relic of that giant star, most likely a black hole, feeds on gas from a very close, companion star. The cannibalized gas collects in a disk around the black hole. The disk and black hole's network of powerful magnetic field lines acts like an enormous railroad system to snag charged particles out of the disk and channel them outward in powerful jets traveling at nearly the speed of light. This system of a black hole and its feeder star shines brightly in both radio waves and X-rays and is known collectively as the SS433 microquasar.

Over time, the microquasar's jets have forced their way through the expanding gases of the W50 bubble, eventually punching bulges outward on either side. The jets also wobble, like an unstable spinning top, and blaze vivid corkscrew patterns across the inflating bulges.

New Namesake

Optically bright astronomical objects, those visible to the eye and optical telescopes, often are nicknamed for their earthly likenesses, such as the Whirlpool Galaxy and Owl Nebula. Invisible W50 comes by its less catchy name by being the 50th radio source listed in the Westerhout Catalog, assembled in 1958 by Dutch astronomer, Gart Westerhout.

When the VLA's giant W50 image reached the NRAO Director's office, Heidi Winter, the Director's Executive Assistant, saw the likeness to a manatee, the endangered marine mammals known as "sea cows" that congregate in warm waters in the southeastern United States.

Florida Manatees are gentle giants that average around 10 feet long, weigh over 1000 pounds, and spend up to eight hours a day grazing on sea plants. They occupy the remainder of their day resting, often on their backs with their flippers crossed over their large bellies, in a pose closely resembling W50.

Dangerous encounters with boat propellers injure many of these curious herbivores, giving them deep, curved scars similar in appearance to the arcs made by the powerful jets on the large W50 remnant.

Thanks to Ms. Winter's suggestion, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory has adopted a new nickname for W50: The Manatee Nebula. In collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the NRAO will unveil the Manatee Nebula to the public during the annual Manatee Festival in Crystal River, Florida on a stage overlooking the largest natural concentration of wintering manatees in the world.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

Tania Burchell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nrao.edu

Further reports about: Astronomy Astronomy Observatory NRAO Observatory VLA black hole nebula optical telescope

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Nanotechnology for energy materials: Electrodes like leaf veins
27.09.2016 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH

nachricht First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source
27.09.2016 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Forscher entwickeln quantenphotonischen Schaltkreis mit elektrischer Lichtquelle

Optische Quantenrechner könnten die Computertechnologie revolutionieren. Forschern um Wolfram Pernice von der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster sowie Ralph Krupke, Manfred Kappes und Carsten Rockstuhl vom Karlsruher Institut für Technologie ist es nun gelungen, einen quantenoptischen Versuchsaufbau auf einem Chip zu platzieren. Damit haben sie eine Voraussetzung erfüllt, um photonische Schaltkreise für optische Quantencomputer nutzbar machen zu können.

Ob für eine abhörsichere Datenverschlüsselung, die ultraschnelle Berechnung riesiger Datenmengen oder die sogenannte Quantensimulation, mit der hochkomplexe...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: Quantenboost für künstliche Intelligenz

Intelligente Maschinen, die selbständig lernen, gelten als Zukunftstrend. Forscher der Universität Innsbruck und des Joint Quantum Institute in Maryland, USA, loten nun in der Fachzeitschrift Physical Review Letters aus, wie Quantentechnologien dabei helfen können, die Methoden des maschinellen Lernens weiter zu verbessern.

In selbstfahrenden Autos, IBM's Watson oder Google's AlphaGo sind Computerprogramme am Werk, die aus Erfahrungen lernen können. Solche Maschinen werden im Zuge...

Im Focus: Synthese-chemischer Meilenstein: Neues Ferrocenium-Molekül entdeckt

Wissenschaftler der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) haben zusammen mit Kollegen der Freien Universität Berlin ein neues Molekül entdeckt: Die Eisenverbindung in der seltenen Oxidationsstufe +4 gehört zu den Ferrocenen und ist äußerst schwierig zu synthetisieren.

Metallocene werden umgangssprachlich auch als Sandwichverbindungen bezeichnet. Sie bestehen aus zwei organischen ringförmigen Verbindungen, den...

Im Focus: Neue Entwicklungen in der Asphären-Messtechnik

Kompetenzzentrum Ultrapräzise Oberflächenbearbeitung (CC UPOB) lädt zum Expertentreffen im März 2017 ein

Ob in Weltraumteleskopen, deren Optiken trotz großer Abmessungen nanometergenau gefertigt sein müssen, in Handykameras oder in Endoskopen − Asphären kommen in...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Laser für Neurochirurgie und Biofabrikation - LaserForum 2016 thematisiert Medizintechnik

27.09.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Ist Vergessen die Zukunft?

27.09.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Von der Probe zum digitalen Modell - MikroskopieTrends ´16

26.09.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Nanotechnologie für Energie-Materialien: Elektroden wie Blattadern

27.09.2016 | Physik Astronomie

Ultradünne Membranen aus Graphen

27.09.2016 | Physik Astronomie

Ein magnetischer Antrieb für Mikroroboter

27.09.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie