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.
November 9, 1998
Explanation: Some stars explode in slow motion. Rare, massive Wolf-Rayet stars are so tumultuous and hot they are disintegrating right before our telescopes. Glowing gas globs each over 30 times more massive than the Earth are being expelled by a violent stellar wind. Wolf-Rayet star WR124, visible near the image centre, is thus creating the surrounding nebula known as M1-67. Why this star has been slowly blowing itself apart over the past 10,000 years remains unclear. WR124 is 15,000 light-years away towards the constellation of Sagitta.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.