Giant Star Blows Hubble a Bubble of Hot Gas

To celebrate 26th solar orbit of Hubble Space Telescope

Space news (Interaction of young, massive stars with the environment) – 7,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cassiopeia –


To celebrate the 26th year of the Hubble Space Telescope’s journey to the beginning of space and time NASA released this image of the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). The outer edge of the bubble is a stellar wind of hot gas moving at over 4 million miles per hour. A stellar wind that slams into and heats dense regions of cold gas on the outer edge of the bubble to varying temperatures. Heated gases that emit different colours, with oxygen near the star emitting blue light while light emitted by hydrogen and nitrogen combines to produce yellow, cooler pillars in the upper left of the image. Cooler pillars illuminated by strong ultraviolet radiation from the hot, massive star producing the bubble, which is similar to the iconic “Pillars of Creation” in the Eagle Nebula.

10 light-years across, the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) is a study in violent processes at work and chaotic nature of the cosmos. Image Credit: Bernard Michaud

As Hubble makes its 26th revolution around our home star, the sun, we celebrate the event with a spectacular image of a dynamic and exciting interaction of a young star with its environment. The view of the Bubble Nebula, crafted from WFC-3 images, reminds us that Hubble gives us a front row seat to the awe-inspiring universe we live in,” said John Grunsfeld, Hubble astronaut and associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, in Washington, D.C. 

The Bubble Nebula is one of three gas shells surrounding the supermassive star (BD+602522) at the center of this image. Credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF

The outer edge of the Bubble Nebula’s around seven light years across, which is about the same distance as travelling to our nearest stellar neighbour Alpha Centauri one and a half times. The super-hot, massive star producing the hot stellar winds at the outer edge is about 45 times the mass of Sol. It appears in the ten o’clock position in this image, off-centre from the outer edge due to varying stellar winds.


The Bubble Nebula. Image: NASA, Donald Walter (South Carolina State University), Paul Scowen and Brian Moore (Arizona State University)

Imagine the reaction of the discoverer of the Bubble Nebula, William Herschel, who in 1787 first observed this colourful celestial object, to this Hubble Space Telescope image. How would he react to discovering it’s created by an extremely bright, super-massive star turning hydrogen into helium at a furious rate? A star about four million years old that within the next 20 million years will detonate as a supernova. The possibilities would expand his mind much like the O-type star that created the Bubble Nebula. 

Imagine the expression on his face as he views the thousands of startling images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of stellar objects across billions of light-years of space. The opening of his mind could probably be witnessed in his eyes and the expanding of his consciousness. He would fly about the universe on the edge of a bubble of hot gas and become one with the cosmos.

No better way to celebrate the 26th year of the space journey of one of the greatest and grandest telescopes ever conceived and constructed by humankind. 

Watch this YouTube video about the 26th anniversary of the space journey of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Zoom into the Bubble Nebula watching this NASA video.

You can take the space journey of NASA here.

Learn more about the Hubble Space Telescope.

Discover the things William Herschel taught us about the cosmos here.

Learn more about one of the biggest eyes on the universe ever constructed, the Giant Magellan Telescope.

Read about Hitomi, the newest x-ray satellite on the space block.

Discover TESS, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.

Spitzer Detects Message from Guardians of the Universe

Green Lantern’s emerald ring beams across space and time at NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope

Alan Scott and the Green Lantern Corps battles against the forces of evil in the constellation Scorpius

NASA images

Astronomy NASA News – Visitors from the stars have often been the main characters in myths, legends, comic book adventures and books and movies created by humans throughout the ages of mankind. Considering the diminutive knowledge astronomers have of space and time this choice provides the perfect context for adventure and the unknown. The Green Lantern is one of the most popular and beloved DC Comics heroes of all time and more recently a full length feature film starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard. The original Green Lantern Alan Scott was created by writer Bill Finger and commercial artist Martin Nodell for All American Comics #16 (July 1940) edition. Since this time the Green Lantern alias has been shared by several DC Comics superheroes and fictional characters that have all contributed to the popularity of this timeless character.

Emerald ring nebula born in the fire of massive O type stars

Astronomers on the leading edge of the human journey to the beginning of time and space recently glimpsed this emerald nebula using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Reminiscent of the emerald ring wielded by the Green Lantern, this emerald ring wasn’t forged by the Guardians of the Universe as the power rings of the Green Lantern Corps were in the original Green Lantern adventures. Astronomers viewing scenes like the one in the picture above believe emerald nebula like the one seen here are in fact born in the fire of the most massive stars viewed on the human journey to the beginning of the universe O type stars. This particular emerald nebula lies deep within clouds of hot gas and glowing dust in the constellation Scorpius and has been given the name RCW 120 by astronomers. The green ring we see is in fact glowing in infrared colours our eyes aren’t designed to view, but using the infrared detectors of the Spitzer Space Telescope astronomers can produce images like this one.

Green Lantern’s ring

The green ring viewed here was actually carved out by the intense ultraviolet radiation of a couple of giant stars near the centre of the nebula. The giant stars will be obscured by the light from the other stars nearby, when viewed by the infrared detectors of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Ring nebula like this one have actually been a common sight on the human journey to the beginning of space and time, so common that professional astronomers have asked amateur star gazers to take part in the search for ring nebula. Astronomy lovers interested in taking part in the search for ring nebula should contact the people in charge of The Milky Way Project, at

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Read about NASA’s Messenger spacecraft and its mission to Mercury

Have you heard about the recent meteorite that exploded near the Ural Mountains

Read about the supernova astronomers are studying looking for a black hole they think was created during the explosion