A huge galactic structure identified as a giant star was created from one or more enormous eruptions approximately 10,000 years ago.
How huge is it? Phys.org reported that a growing shell of gas and dust surrounding the star is approximately five light-years wide, equaling the distance from here to the closest star outside the Sun, Proxima Centauri.
The outer layers of the giant star were blown into space akin to a boiling teapot that pops off its lid. The expelled material amounts to approximately 10 times the mass of the Sun.
These outbursts, the report said, are a rare breed of star's usual life also known as a luminous blue variable, a brief convulsive phase in a short life of what's described as an ultra-bright, glamorous star that "lives fast and dies young."
Such stars are among the brightest and massive stars known today. They live for just a few million years, compared to the approximately 10-billion-year lifetime of the Sun.
AG Carinae, a Luminous Blue Variable Star
AG Carinae, specifically, is a few million years old and residing in 20,000 light-ears away inside the Milky Way galaxy.
This same report specified luminous blue variables reveal a dual personality. They appear to spend several years in 'quiescent bliss,' and then, erupt in a petulant explosion.
These behemoths described as "stars in the extreme," extremely different from normal stars like the Earth's Sun.
In fact, AG Carinae is approximated to be up to 70 times more massive compared to the Sun and it's shining with the blinding brilliance of a million suns.
According to luminous blue variable expert Kerstin Weis from the Ruhr University in Bochum, Gemany, he likes studying those kinds of stars as he is fascinated by their instability.
Major outbursts like the one that generated the nebula take place once or twice during lifetime of the luminous blue variable.
Essentially, a luminous blue variable star is only casting off materials when it is in danger of self-destruction as a supernova.
Due to their massive forms and extremely hot temperatures, luminous blue variable stars like AG Carinae are in a constant fight to retain their stability.
Captured via Hubble
The sharp vision of NASA's space telescope Hubble reveals the giant star's delicate-looking structure in great detail. The image was taken in noticeable ultraviolet light.
Such light provides a somewhat clearer view of the filamentary dust structures, extending all the way down to the star.
Hubble is perfectly suited for ultraviolet-light observations as wavelength range can only be watched and observed from space.
Moreover, massive stars like AG Carinae, as described in NASA's HUBBLESITE, are essential to astronomers as they have far-reaching impacts on their environment.
It should be noted that the largest program in the history of Hubble, the Ultraviolet Legacy Library of Young Stars as Essential Standards, is currently examining the young stars' ultraviolet light as well as the manner they are shaping up their surroundings.
Meanwhile luminous blue variable stars are unusual and rare that below 50 are known among the galaxies in the local group of galaxies nearby.
Such stars are spending tens of thousands of years in this phase. And, according to astronomy, a lot are expected to end their lives in massive supernova explosions, which are enriching the universe with weightier elements beyond iron.
A similar report is shown on Hubble Space Telescope's YouTube video below:
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