Friday, December 26, 2008

The Bubble Nebula

Bubble Nebula
The Bubble Nebula in Cassiopeia. 22 minutes total exposure. Click to enlarge.

Continuing the long streak of images acquired in late November, this is the Bubble Nebula, NGC 7635. The fast stellar wind emanating from the bright Wolf-Rayet star in the Bubble meets the slow gas of the surrounding nebula to make the shock wave that is the Bubble. The Bubble itself is a very faint object--and clearly more exposure is needed to bring out the fainter parts of the Bubble. There is an area of denser molecular gas and dust just to the left of the star, resisting the stellar wind and UV radiation of the star at the moment, but evaporating still the same.

For a Hubble Space Telescope shot of the Bubble, click here.

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