Hexbyte Glen Cove Hubble views a tranquil galaxy with an explosive past

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Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Jones, A. Riess et al.

The lazily winding spiral arms of the spectacular galaxy NGC 976 fill the frame of this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This spiral galaxy lies around 150 million light-years from the Milky Way in the constellation Aries. Despite its tranquil appearance, NGC 976 has played host to one of the most violent astronomical phenomena known – a supernova explosion. These cataclysmically violent events take place at the end of the lives of massive stars and can outshine entire galaxies for a short period. While supernovae mark the deaths of massive stars, they are also responsible for the creation of heavy elements that are incorporated into later generations of stars and planets.

Supernovae are also a useful aid for astronomers who measure the distances to faraway galaxies. The amount of energy thrown out into space by some types of supernova explosions is very uniform, allowing astronomers to estimate their distances from how bright they appear to be when viewed from Earth. This image – which was created using data from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 – comes from a large collection of Hubble observations of nearby galaxies which host as well as a pulsating class of stars known as Cepheid variables. Both Cepheids and supernovae are used to measure astronomical distances, and galaxies containing both objects provide useful natural laboratories where the two methods can be calibrated against one another.



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Hubble views a tranquil galaxy with an explosive past (2022, January 15)
retrieved 15 January 2022
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Southwest France hit by flooding after heavy rains

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Some people were evacuated from their homes as streets flooded Friday in Bayonne, southwest France.

Rivers overflowed their banks across a large swath of southwest France on Friday after heavy rains lashed the region overnight, leading to evacuations of dozens of residents.

Warm southern winds that have melted snowbanks in the Pyrenees mountains in recent days also contributed to the flooding, which could persist for several days.

“Despite one person injured, we have no serious accidents or deaths, with firefighters responding to more than 250 calls in the past few hours,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told journalists after discussions with local officials.

The Meteo France weather agency also warned of high avalanche risks in the Pyrenees, which separate France from Spain, where local flooding was also reported.

The regional government in Spain’s Navarre region said a woman died Friday in her car after a landslide that followed two weeks of heavy rains.

Eric Spitze, the French government’s top official for the Aquitaine region that includes Bordeaux, said that while the situation was “under control,” forecasts of more rain to come could see floodwaters rise further in several towns and cities.

In the coastal city of Bayonne, loudspeakers carried warnings for crowds of people who gathered along the banks of the Nive river to take pictures of the torrents.

Authorities cancelled a Friday night rugby match in Bayonne between Aviron Bayonnais and US Montauban, and Mayor Jean-Rene Etchegaray also urged businesses along the Nive river to close.

Classes were called off at several schools and some roads were closed, while train services were disrupted and electricity cuts were reported at hundreds of homes across the region.

Further inland, the flooding caused a landslide in the Pyrenees village of Itxassou, with one resident, a 37-year-old who gave his name as Jean-Claude, said his home was swamped in 40 centimetres (16 inches) of water—for the second time in seven years.

“In 2014, they said it was once-in-a-century flooding, and now it’s already happening again,” he told AFP.



© 2021 AFP

Citation:
Southwest France hit by flooding after heavy rains (2021, December 10)
retrieved 11 December 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-12-southwest-france-heavy.html

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