A dead star takes on a ghostly green pallor in a new photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The image, released conveniently in time for Halloween, reveals the remains of a star that exploded years ago as a supernova in the Crab Nebula, 6,500 light-years from Earth, leaving behind a "tell-tale heart," according to NASA.
"The 'heart' is the crushed core of the exploded star, called a neutron star, it has about the same mass as the sun but is squeezed into an ultra-dense sphere that is only a few miles across and 100 billion times stronger than steel. The tiny powerhouse is the bright star-like object near the center of the image." NASA said in a statement.
The neutron star is spinning at 30 times per second, producing an extreme magnetic field and "unleashes wisp-like waves that form an expanding ring" seen in the photo, NASA added.
The new image was taken over the course of nine months in 2012 using the Hubble. If you want to see the strange looking object for yourself, find a telescope and point it at the Crab Nebula's part of space in the constellation Taurus and if you do check out the nebula, you'd be in good company.
NASA says that people on Earth have been looking at the Crab Nebula since at least the year 1054, when astronomers in China recorded seeing the then-mysterious cosmic object during daylight hours.
"Japanese, Arabic and Native American stargazers also recorded seeing the mystery star," NASA said. "In 1758, while searching for a comet, French astronomer Charles Messier discovered a hazy nebula near the location of the long-vanished supernova. He later added the nebula to his celestial catalog as 'Messier 1,' marking it as a 'fake comet.'"
It took until 1928 for Edwin Hubble, the space telescope's namesake, to link the "fake comet" with the object Chinese astronomers observed centuries before.
This post was written by Usman Abrar. To contact the writer write to email@example.com. Follow on Facebook