NASA, Donald Walter (South Carolina State University), Paul Scowen and Brian Moore (Arizona State University)

This eerie bubble looks like a massive plume of fog rolling across the cosmos, but don’t be fooled, this beast won’t create a nice chill on a warm evening. The smoke-like material is actually rather hot. Amazingly hot, in fact. That’s because the sphere is composed of gas that was cast off from a star that is several hundred thousand times more luminous and around 45 times more massive than our Sun.

 

The star in question (BD+60 2522) is the bright beacon shining near the middle of the image. It creates extreme solar winds of ionized gas, which over time, sculpted the material into the enormous sphere that we see here. At present time, the spherical nebula surrounding the star is some 6 light-years wide. What’s more, it is expanding at nearly 4 million miles per an hour (7million km/hr).

 

The picture was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, and astronomers quickly dubbed it the Bubble Nebula. This nebula can be found 11,000 light-years away toward the constellation Cassiopeia


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