NASA released footage captured by the Hubble Space Telescope on April 21st showing a giant spherical bubble being “inflated” by a star. Astronomers reportedly named the balloon-like bubble the Nebula, or NGC 7635.
An incredibly massive star 7,100 light-years from Earth is blowing a bubble in deep space.
The star, called BD +60º2522, is about “45 times more massive than our sun,” and the bubble feature — called the Bubble Nebula — is formed by gas escaping from the star’s outer layers, pushed outward by the stellar wind at 4 million miles per hour, NASA said.
“This outflow sweeps up the cold, interstellar gas in front of it, forming the outer edge of the bubble much like a snowplow piles up snow in front of it as it moves forward,” the space agency said in a statement.
The new Bubble Nebula image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, was released to commemorate the 26th anniversary of the long-lived telescope’s launch to space on April 24, 1990.
And this isn’t the first time the Hubble has photographed the Bubble Nebula. The cosmic object has actually been a muse for the famous telescope for some time.
The Bubble Nebula — also named NGC 7635 — was photographed by Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera in 1992, and the telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera-2 in 1999.
While the previous photos show a beautiful and colorful view of the nebula, this 26th anniversary image reveals some intricate lines of dust stretching through the nebula.