Hubble Just Spotted an Enormous Bubble in Space
The Hubble Space Telescope's 26th birthday is coming up, and NASA is celebrating the day with a doozy of a video that shows an enormous space balloon.
A series of images taken by Hubble shows a super-hot star blowing a massive bubble in space. Nicknamed the "Bubble Nebula," it spans about 7 light-years across. The star creating the bubble is about 45 times the mass of our sun.
The star is so hot that it's producing stellar winds traveling at 4 million mph. "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," NASA explains.
The nebula sits about 7,000 light-years away from our galaxy, and it's illuminated by the intense UV radiation coming from the star. The blue light represents oxygen.
"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," John Grunsfeld, Hubble astronaut and associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said in a statement.
Hubble was launched on April 24, 1990, and it's still going strong.
You can watch an animation of the Bubble Nebula below: