Feb 16, 2019 | Updated: 07:41 AM EST

Hubble Captures Bubble-Like Structure Wrapped Around Star 5,200 Light Years Away

Apr 24, 2017 01:23 AM EDT


Our eye-in-the-sky Hubble Space Telescope has done it again. After snapping the auroras on the planet Uranus recently, it trained its eyes into deep space and discovered a bubble-like structure wrapped around a star.

According to Sci News, NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has, in a new image, captured a faint and wispy shell of gas wrapped around EZ Canis Majoris that is in the constellation Canis Major (The Great Dog). The star belongs to a type of Wolf-Rayet stars.

The Hubble images indicated thick winds flooding the surroundings and draining the outer layers of the Wolf-Rayet stars. When these fast winds churn the surrounding material, bubbles of gas form. This is exactly how the wispy bubble has been created. It has been termed Sh2-308 and lies about 5,200 light years from Earth.

According to Phys Org, when EZ Canis Majoris threw off its outer layers, it formed a bubble-like structure. The bubble is not static, but is being pushed out due to intense and continuing radiation, making it bigger and bigger and pushing it further and further outwards. In the current scenario, the distance across the edges of Sh2-308 is about 60 light-years.

Why it became easy for Hubble to locate this bubble-like structure so deep in space is because Wolf-Rayet stars are not only the brightest, but also the most massive stars present in the Universe. To give an idea, they are tens of thousands of times more massive than the Sun. These provide a glimpse of the extremes of stellar evolution.

It is really a marvel, how deep into space the old reliable Hubble can penetrate to capture even wispy objects. For snapping the bubble-like structure, Hubble used a blue filter and a green filter to sample various wavelengths. Afterwards, its Wide Field Camera 3 captured a composite of separate exposures.

Like all bubbles, this bubble-like structure is also fleeting and will perish in catastrophic supernova explosions triggered by these very stars.

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