Bow shock around star Vela X-1, optical image

Bow shock around star Vela X-1, optical image

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Credit: EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions: This image may not be used by or to promote the arms, nuclear power or tobacco industries or any religious organisation, or in any discriminatory way, or to imply the endorsement by ESO of any product, service or activity

Caption: Bow shock around star Vela X-1, optical image. This view shows the surroundings of the bright OB star HD77581 and its (optically invisible) companion Vela X-1 (forming an X-ray binary), seen through a narrow-band H-alpha filter. This clearly shows the presence of a typical bow shock (curved arc), caused by the motion of the stars through the surrounding interstellar medium. The star is known as an OB-runaway, moving northwards in the sky. The velocity of the system has been calculated as 90 kilometres per second, taking 2.5 million years to travel from its suspected origin point following the supernova explosion that created Vela X-1. The image data was obtained with the 1.54-metre Danish telescope at La Silla. Image published in 1997.

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Keywords: 1997, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, binary, bow shock, danish 1.54-metre telescope, fast, interstellar medium, moving, narrow-band h-alpha filter, no-one, nobody, ob runaway, ob star, optical, research, runaway, space, star, supernova, universe, vela, vela x-1, velocity, visible, x-ray binary, xray

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