Hubble noticed a supernova explosion at a distance of 184 million light-years from Earth

An amazing new image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope shows the distant galaxy UGC 11860, which recently experienced a supernova explosion. It is located approximately 184 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. It is a spiral galaxy similar to our Milky Way, with distinctive arms curving out of its dense, bright central region.

Photo of the spiral galaxy UGC 11860, which is located about 184 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. Authorship of the image: ESA/Hubble & NASA

In the new Hubble photo, which NASA published on July 7, 2023, it seems that UGC 11860 is floating in space. However, it recently experienced an almost incredibly energetic supernova explosion, according to a statement from the Aerospace Administration.

When a massive star reaches the end of its life, it dies in a dramatic explosion called a supernova. Supernovae are incredibly bright and powerful, they throw a large amount of matter into space and create expanding shells of gas and dust, which can be observed as a supernova remnant. 

“The hugely energetic processes during supernova explosions are predominantly responsible for forging the elements between silicon and nickel on the periodic table. This means that understanding the influence of the masses and compositions of the progenitor star systems is vital to explaining how many of the chemical elements here on Earth originated,” NASA said in a statement.

Observations of UGC 11860 were made in 2014 using a Hubble wide-angle camera. Data from the space telescope allows astronomers to study the effects of the stellar explosion and the remains left in the galaxy.

Observations of supernova remnants like UGC 11860 can help astronomers learn more about the star systems that fuel such cosmic explosions.

Earlier we reported on how the nearest supernova in decades broke out in a neighboring galaxy.

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