Hubble Captures Stunning Image Of Blue 'Bubble' In Deep Space

The gas cloud circles a star some 30,000 light-years from Earth.

28/02/2016 9:15 PM AEDT | Updated 02/03/2016 3:29 AM AEDT

Behold this cosmic blue bubble.

The stunning celestial sight was recently captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Circling the Wolf-Rayet star known as WR 31a, which is located in the constellation of Carina some 30,000 light-years from Earth, it's actually an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases.

Scientists think the nebula formed when stellar winds interacted with outer layers of hydrogen ejected by the star.

The Hubble Space Telescope's website says the bubble is currently expanding outwards at around 136,700 miles per hour.

But Wolf-Rayet stars only have a life cycle of a few hundred thousand years, "the blink of an eye in cosmic terms," the site said.

"Despite beginning life with a mass at least 20 times that of the Sun, Wolf–Rayet stars typically lose half their mass in less than 100,000 years," NASA said. "It will, therefore, eventually end its life as a spectacular supernova, and the stellar material expelled from its explosion will later nourish a new generation of stars and planets."


Clarification: This article has been amended to better describe the chronology of the nebula.

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