Local Bubbles : Giant Cosmic Cavity
New research on a giant cosmic cavity that surrounds the solar system could reveal the universe’s secrets, including questions about the origins of stars.
- Researchers from the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) Harvard & Smithsonian have generated a 3D magnetic map of the cavity called Local Bubble.
- The Local Bubble is a 1,000-light-year-wide cavity or a superbubble. Other superbubbles also exist in the Milky Way.
- The Local Bubble is a large, low-density region in the interstellar medium (ISM) of our galaxy, the Milky Way.
- The interstellar medium is the material which fills the space between the stars.
- It’s a cavity that is thought to have been created by a series of supernovae explosions that occurred about 30 to 50 million years ago.
- A supernova is a powerful and luminous explosion that occurs at the end of the life of a massive star.
- It is caused by the collapse of the core of the star, which can trigger a massive release of energy.
- Supernovae are also important for the enrichment of the interstellar medium with heavy elements and for the propagation of cosmic rays.