Published on: November 10, 2023
Why in news? NASA launched a new sounding rocket as part of INFUSE mission
- Sounding rocket was launched to study a stellar event in the Cygnus Loop, a supernova remnant that took place 20,000 years ago.
What is INFUSE mission?
- Integral Field Ultraviolet Spectroscope Experiment (INFUSE) mission was initiated with the objective of investigating the Cygnus Loop, which is a remnant of a supernova.
- It was launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
What will INFUSE mission do?
- It is expected to collect information about the remnant for a few minutes from a height of 150 miles (240 km).
- The instrument will gather light streaming from the Cygnus Loop in far-ultraviolet wavelengths.
- Observe how the supernova dumps energy into the Milky Way by catching light given off just as the blast wave crashes into pockets of cold gas floating around the galaxy.
- It tries to understand the life cycle of stars
What is the Cygnus Loop?
- The Cygnus Loop is the remnant of a star that was once 20 times the size of our Sun.
- Some 20,000 years ago, that star collapsed under its own gravity and erupted into a supernova.
- Even from 2,600 light-years away, astronomers estimate the flash of light would have been bright enough to see from Earth during the day.