NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was able to capture an image of the spectacular blue bubble in space - a star called WR 31a enveloped in a bed of blue wonder. The image is probably the most detailed photo of the star ever captured.
The Hubble Space Telescope has the reputation of bringing captivating images from space such as star birthing, star death and even that of the first predicted supernova explosion. Truly, the device has served as the Earth's window to the world beyond and it never cease to amaze.
Now, it has proven its wonders once again through the so-called "blue bubble."
The Blue Bubble
The blue bubble encircles a Wolf-Rayet star that is located some 30,000 light years away from the Earth and is found in the Carina constellation.
The bubble is said to be composed of hydrogen, dust and helium, among many other gases. It is a product of rapidly moving stellar winds that made contact with the outer parts of hydrogen emitted by Wolf-Rayet stars. The resulting nebulae most commonly follow a ring or spherical shape.
Astronomers estimate that the bubble was created approximately 20,000 years ago and continues to extend at a rate of about 136,700 miles (220,000 kilometers) per hour.
Despite its ethereal beauty, the blue bubble is not meant to stay for so long. Such star only live for about 100,000 years, which is very short in terms of cosmic standards.
"And WR 31a is no exception to this case," says NASA in a statement.
For comparison, the sun is 20 times smaller, five to 30 times cooler and more than a million times dimmer than Wolf-Rayet stars. These characteristics signify that WR stars are so massive, fiery and bright. However, these same spectacular-sounding features are the very reasons why it is short-lived.
The tremendous amount of energy that these stars have subjects it to lost of mass by up to about 50 percent. The sun, for comparison, has been shining brightly for billions of years, yet it is just at the middle of its life.
The Fate Of WR 31a
Eventually, WR 31a will succumb to death and become an equally-amazing supernova. The resulting objects from its explosion will produce new generation stars and perhaps new planets that will most likely make equally mesmerizing impacts to the universe.