Hubble Captures Breathtaking Portrait Of Blue Bubble In Space

The stunning nebula lies about 8,000 light-years away.

22/04/2016 1:12 AM AEST | Updated 22/04/2016 1:12 AM AEST
NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team
A spectacular new view of the Bubble Nebula to celebrate Hubble's 26th year in space.

There's no bursting this bubble.

The folks at the Hubble Space Telescope have released magnificent images of a "gigantic cosmic soap bubble" to celebrate Hubble's 26th anniversary in space.

Named the Bubble Nebula, also known as NGC 7635, this interstellar cloud of gas and dust was first discovered in 1787, but the object is so big that previously it could only be photographed in sections. The new image (seen above) is a mosaic of four images taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.

On April 24, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Earth along with the Hubble Space Telescope. Each year, Hubble releases a new spectacular image to commemorate the anniversary of its launch.

The star at the center of the nebula, which gives off a glowing effect, is between ten and twenty times the mass of the Sun. The nebula’s bubble-like form is a result of strong stellar winds pushing gas and dust into a spherical shape.

To show how far the technology has progressed, NASA/ESA resurfaced an image from 1998 showing the Bubble Nebula.

Hubble Heritage Team
The Bubble Nebula, seen in 1998.
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