Astronomers Spot Young Stars And Glowing Gas Cloud Inside A Spectacular Superbubble

Posted: May 18 2016, 9:15pm CDT | by , Updated: May 20 2016, 4:51pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Astronomers Spot Young Stars and Glowing Gas Cloud Inside a Spectacular Superbubble
Credit: ESO

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ESO's Very Large Telescope spots strikingly colorful emission nebula located 163,000 light years away from the Earth.

This stunning cosmic image could easily be mistaken for a painting. The image is taken by ESO’s Very Large Telescope where blazing blue stars can be seen scattered all over a glowing interstellar gas cloud and offering a mesmerizingly beautiful view.

The shimmering pink and yellow cloud of gas is a nebula called LHA 120-N55 which is located 163,000 light years away from Earth and is encased in a superbubble LMC 4. A cosmic superbubble is a cavity which is often hundreds of light years across and created by multiple supernova explosions and fierce interstellar winds. Together they blew away most of the gas and dust that was once surrounding them.

“The material that became N55, however, managed to survive as a small remnant pocket of gas and dust. It is now a standalone nebula inside the superbubble and a grouping of brilliant blue and white stars – known as LH 72 – also managed to form hundreds of millions of years after the event that originally blew up the superbubble.” ESO's blog says.

The stars in the image are too young to have been involved in the making of superbubble. However, they are responsible for the coloration in the image. The intense light coming from young, hot stars is stripping away electrons of hydrogen atoms in N55, burning and energizing the gas left floating in the vacuum of space. The vibrant pinkish glow, which is clearly visible in the image, represents fresh star birth inside the bubble.

Astronomers suspect that some major changes may occur in N55 several million years from now on. They believe that the hot stars in superbubble themselves explode in distant future and cause to form another bubble inside the superbubble.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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