Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
June 13, 1998
Explanation: Stars with tens of times the mass of the Sun profoundly affect their galactic environment. Churning and mixing the interstellar gas and dust clouds they leave their mark in the compositions and locations of future generations of stars and star systems. Dramatic evidence of this is beautifully illustrated in our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), by the lovely ring shaped nebula, Henize 70. It is actually a luminous "superbubble" of interstellar gas about 300 lightyears in diameter, blown by winds from massive stars and supernova explosions, its interior filled with tenuous hot expanding gas. These superbubbles offer astronomers a chance to explore this crucial connection between the lifecycles of stars and the evolution of galaxies.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.