180111期:RCW 114:天坛座内的龙心形云气

RCW 114:天坛座内的龙心形云气

上图这团令人惊异的巨型宇宙云,位于南天星座之一的天坛座,从地球上看,它的宽度约为7度(14个满月)。

我们难以想象摄影师是如何拍摄出这张编号RCW 114的丝状云气的影象(它的拍摄难度实在是太大了),在这张放大的合成图里,我们甚至能看到云气中电离氢原子所发出的代表性的红光。

事实上,RCW 114已经被确认为超新星遗迹。它四周的云气丝是由大质量恒星发生死亡爆炸时,穿过周遭星际物质产生的扩张冲击波造成的。

学界估计,这团直径约100光年的云气,与地球间的距离超过600光年。诞生了RCW 114的那次超新星爆炸中的光在大概2万年前就到达了地球。

最近,该云气中崩塌星核的残骸被确认为中子星(或脉冲星—旋转的中子星)。

译:银河说翻译组 华夫饼喝酸奶

特别鸣谢:顾问陈若颖

【妈耶这篇巨难翻,哦豁】

RCW 114: A Dragon’s Heart in Ara
Image Credit & Copyright: Andrew Campbell

Explanation: Large and dramatically shaped, this cosmic cloud spans nearly 7 degrees or 14 full moons across planet Earth’s sky toward the southern constellation Ara. Difficult to image, the filamentary apparition is cataloged as RCW 114 and traced in this telescopic mosaic by the telltale reddish emission of ionized hydrogen atoms. In fact, RCW 114 has been recognized as asupernova remnant. Its extensive filaments of emission are produced as the still expanding shockwave from the death explosion of a massive star sweeps up the surrounding interstellar medium. Consistent estimates place its distance at over 600 light-years, indicating a diameter of about 100 light-years or so. Light from the supernova explosion that created RCW 114 would have reached Earth around 20,000 years ago. A neutron star or pulsar has recently been identified as the collapsed remains of the stellar core.

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