'Giant Christmas ornament' seen in space in time for holiday

15:48, December 16, 2010      

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Recently, the American Hubble Space Telescope took some photos of an amazing astronomical phenomenon that resembles a giant Christmas ornament. The shape was formed by star remains generated in a supernova 400 years ago, and it floats in space just like a delicate shell.

The supernova that occurred 400 years ago belonged to the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is 0.16 million light-years far away from our Milky Way Galaxy, and the impulse wave and the erupting remains formed the ornament-like shape in the sky.

Scientists named the object "SNR 0509," short for "SNR B0509-67.5." The diameter of the giant bubble is about 23 light-years, and it is expanding at a speed of 1.1 million kilometers per hour. Hubble also took photos under various conditions.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Dailiy Online
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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90782/90875/7233149.pdf