Solar System is Surrounded by Cosmic Bubble

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Using data and data visualization software that mapped the asymmetrical bubble, the research team calculated that at least 15 supernovae have gone off over millions of years and pushed gas outward, creating a bubble where seven star-forming regions dot the surface. Leah Hustak (STScI)

A Star-Producing, Cosmic Bubble Shrouds Our Solar System

by Elizabeth Gamillo/Smithsonianmag.com

For the first time, researchers have studied a series of events beginning 14 million years ago that caused a still-expanding cosmic bubble to envelop Earth’s galactic neighborhood, forming all the nearby stars, a statement explains. Called the Local Bubble, the expanse stretches 1,000-light-years-wide. Within 500-light-years of Earth, all stars and star-forming regions sit on the surface of the Local Bubble, but not inside, giving clues to why Earth sits in a part of the Milky Way Galaxy that is mostly empty, reports Denise Chow for NBC News.

Scientists have suspected the giant bubble’s existence for decades. However, astronomers only recently have observed the net, its shape, and how far it reaches. Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) published the study this week in Nature.

The Local Bubble formed from a series of supernovae, or powerful explosions that take place when stars collapse at the end of their life span, reports NBC News. These explosions occurred near the void’s center and blasted gas across space over the last 14 million years. Read More:

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3 COMMENTS

  1. “For the first time, researchers have studied a series of events beginning 14 million years ago that caused a still-expanding cosmic bubble to envelop Earth’s galactic neighborhood, forming all the nearby stars, a statement explains. Called the Local Bubble, the expanse stretches 1,000-light-years-wide”.
    This is exactly what I questioned in a post regarding the James Webb Telescope looking “back in time”. This cosmic bubble began expanding 14 million years ago, and is now 1000 light years wide. If it was expanding at the speed of light, it would thus be 14 million light years wide. Now, apply the same logic to the universe expanding. The universe is estimated currently at 13.7 billion years, but Hubble has seen distant galaxies at least that far away. Do you see the problem with that?

    • Space telescopes always looking back in time!
      Turn them around and look in opposite direction; future time.
      Or else all time is calculated from ground-zero-NOW earth-time; the center of the universe.

    • The Earth is not the center of the universe. The time calculation “looking back” is the length of time the observed light traveled to reach a telescope’s primary mirror. Galaxies are moving apart, significantly slower than the speed of light. Therefore, when calculating the present distance in light years, an additional calculation has to be made with regard to the relative velocity of a body’s mass, if any accurate estimate is to be made regarding the age of the universe. Simply put, if the furthest observable galaxy were 15 billion light years distant, for example, then yes, you’re looking at light from an object emitted 16 billion years ago. That doesn’t then mean, however, that the universe is 16 billion years old.It would imply much older.

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