Hubble snaps enormous bubble being blown into space by massive star

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 25-11-2022 15:02 IST | Created: 25-11-2022 15:00 IST
Hubble snaps enormous bubble being blown into space by massive star
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team

This image of Bubble Nebula, aka NGC 7635, was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in 2016 to celebrate its 26th year in space. The emission nebula is located 8,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia.

Discovered in 1787 by prominent British astronomer William Herschel, the Bubble Nebula is 7 light-years across - about one-and-a-half times the distance from our sun to its nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri.

The nebula is being formed by an O star, an extremely bright, massive, and short-lived star that has lost most of its outer hydrogen. The star is about 4 million years old, and in 10 million to 20 million years, it will likely detonate as a supernova, the biggest explosion that humans have ever seen. The star is several hundred thousand times more luminous and some 45 times more massive than the Sun.

This picture was imaged using Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in visible light with unprecedented clarity in February 2016. The colors correspond to blue for oxygen, green for hydrogen, and red for nitrogen.

"The view of the Bubble Nebula, crafted from Wide Field Camera 3 images, reminds us that Hubble gives us a front-row seat to the awe-inspiring universe we live in," said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, in Washington, D.C.

The Hubble Space Telescope also imaged the Bubble Nebula with the Wide Field Planetary Camera (WFPC) in September of 1992, and with Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) in April of 1999.

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