Ghostly Ring Found in Outer Space

This just in from NASA:

This image shows a ghostly ring extending seven light-years across around the corpse of a massive star. The collapsed star, called a magnetar, is located at the exact center of this image. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope imaged the mysterious ring around magnetar SGR 1900+14 in infrared light. The magnetar itself is not visible in this image, as it has not been detected at infrared wavelengths (it has been seen in X-ray light).

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Personally, I think what we’ve got here is one of these:


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But NASA says different. Their story:

Magnetars are formed when a giant star ends its life in a supernova explosion, leaving behind a super dense neutron star with an incredibly strong magnetic field. The ring seen by Spitzer could not have formed during the original explosion, as any material as close to the star as the ring would have been disrupted by the supernova shock wave. Scientists suspect that the ring my actually be the edges of a bubble that was hollowed out by an explosive burst from the magnetar in 1998. The very bright region near the center of the image is a cluster of young stars, which may be illuminating the inner edge of the bubble, making it look like a ring in projection.

This composite image was taken using all three of Spitzer’s science instruments. The blue color represents 3.6-micron infrared light taken by the infrared array camera, green is 16-micron light from the infrared spectograph, and red is 24-micron radiation from the multiband imaging photometer.

Comments

  1. #1 Ian
    May 28, 2008

    FOOL! It’s Satan coming for Armageddon! Can’t you see the HORNS!!!! And there are – oh there must be 18 bright stars around it. EIGHTEEN! That’s 6+6+6!!!! RUN AWAY!!!!

  2. #2 Turcano
    May 28, 2008

    It looks more like an amoeba trying to eat something. Or a salmon steak.

  3. #3 Theobroma Cacao
    May 28, 2008

    Looks like a tick to me. Is there a moth- (or rabbit-)shaped object near by?

    Theo

  4. #4 (((Billy)))
    May 28, 2008

    Nah. Looks like the head of one of those pincher beetles (or an earwig). Wow. An earwig seven light years across. I wanna see the ear!

  5. #5 tincture
    May 28, 2008

    Looks like a giant ant head to me.

    The Spitzer Space Telescope has apparently been captured an image of a master race of giant space ants. It’s difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume us or merely enslave us. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new insect overlords.

    Wakka wakka wakka.

  6. #6 themadlolscientist
    May 28, 2008

    im in ur skyz
    nomnomnommin ur dark mattr