A sounding rocket carrying a special imaging and spectroscopy instrument set off on a short journey into space on Sunday night to try to gather as much data as possible about the long-admired supernova remnant in the Cygnus constellation. Its target, a massive cloud of dust and gas known as Algae nebula were not Loop in the Swan, formed after the explosion of a star approximately 20,000 years ago. It is interesting that still expanding.
The rocket lifted off from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on Sunday, October 29 at 11:35 p.m. CET. INFUSE probe (Integral Field Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Experiment) aims to observe the Algae Nebula for several minutes and capture light in ultraviolet wavelengths, which should show gases with a temperature of 50,000–300,000 °C. It is expected to fly to an altitude of about 305 kilometers before returning to Earth by parachute.
The Algae Nebula is located about 2,600 light-years away and formed by the collapse of a star estimated to be twenty times the size of our Sun. Since the effects of this event are still being felt and the plume is currently expanding at about 1,500,000 kilometers per hour, it is an excellent candidate for study the influence of supernovae on the formation of new star systems. “Supernovae like the one that created the Algae Nebula have a huge effect on how galaxies form,” said Brian Fleming, principal investigator of the INFUSE mission.
“The INFUSE probe will observe how a supernova ejects energy into the Milky Way, by capturing the light emitted just as the shock wave hits the pockets of cool gas floating around the galaxy,” explained Fleming. Once INFUSE is back on Earth and the collected data has been collected, the team plans for its next launch.