The Bubble Nebula: Winds & Radiation from a Massive Star

This visualization of the Bubble Nebula begins with a ground-based view that encompasses the glowing cloud. The high-energy light from the massive O star, BD +60°2522, is responsible for ionizing the entire region. The virtual camera flies through the foreground stars and approaches the central bubble imaged by Hubble. The massive star continuously sheds some of its outer layers in a mass-loss wind, which has blown a bubble of gas seven light-years across. The video’s three-dimensional perspective emphasizes the extended nature of the structure and the fact that BD +60°2522 is not located at the center. The pressure inside the bubble is able to expand more rapidly in the directions away from the surrounding nebula. The computer model incorporates both scientific and artistic interpretation of the data. In particular, distances are significantly compressed.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and F. Summers, G. Bacon, Z. Levay, and L. Frattare (Viz 3D Team, STScI)

Acknowledgment: T. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF, NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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