NASA shares mesmerizing facts about Vela Pulsar Wind Nebula

NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) has captured a pulsar wind nebula. What is it? The space agency explained. (NASA)

Approximately 10000 years ago, Earth received light emitted by a supernova that occurred in the constellation Vela. The explosion resulted in the formation of a pulsar, a compact object that emits winds of particles from its surface. (Hubble site)

These winds move at nearly the speed of light and collide with surrounding gas, generating a turbulent mixture of charged particles and magnetic fields known as a pulsar wind nebula. (Wikimedia commons)

The released image is the result of several instruments! The hazy light blue halo corresponds to the first-ever X-ray polarization data for Vela from NASA’s IXPE. (NASA)

While, the Pink and purple colours correspond to data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the golden stars were captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. (NASA)

By analyzing the polarization of electromagnetic waves, scientists can gain a remarkable insight into how cosmic objects such as pulsars accelerate particles to high velocities, NASA explained. (NASA)

The findings of a recent study published in journals Nature astonished scientists! They discovered an unusually high level of polarization in the X-rays emanating from the Vela pulsar wind nebula. (NASA)

This is said to be the highest degree of polarization measured in a celestial X-ray source to date. (Unsplash)

What does high polarization mean? It indicates that they are highly structured and aligned in particular directions, which correspond to their location within the nebula. (Unsplash)

Unlike supernova remnants, which possess a surrounding layer of material, the significant polarization of the X-rays in the Vela pulsar wind nebula indicates that the electrons were not propelled by turbulent shocks. (Unsplash)

Instead, there is a possibility of some other process, such as magnetic reconnection, NASA suggested. This process involves the fragmentation and merging of magnetic field lines, resulting in the conversion of magnetic energy into particle energy. (NASA)

The Vela pulsar, located around 1000 light-years away from Earth, possesses a diameter of approximately 15 miles (25 kilometers) and revolves 11 times every second. (Unsplash)

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