There’s a spectacular bubble of gas forming around a massive star about 7,000 light-years from Earth.
Called the Bubble Nebula, the cosmic spectacle is powered by a star that’s 45 times more massive than our sun and thousands of times hotter. That heat pushes stellar winds of ionized gas outward, forming the bubble and the larger nest of clouds surrounding it.
Discovered in 1787, it can be seen like never before in this video based on composite imagery from the Hubble Telescope (with oxygen colored blue, hydrogen colored green, and nitrogen colored red).
Emission nebula like the Bubble, are often referred to as a “stellar nurseries” because the heat, ionized gas, and cosmic dust work together to form new stars in the region. This makes structures like the Bubble an important area of study for scientists, as learning how young stars form can help us understand how our sun formed and, ultimately, our entire solar system.