Hubble Image of the Week: A Cosmic Couple

Hubble Views Star Hen 2-427 and Nebula M1-67

ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

This newly released Hubble image shows star Hen 2-427 and nebula M1-67.

Here we see the spectacular cosmic pairing of the star Hen 2-427 (more commonly known as WR 124) and the nebula M1-67 which surrounds it. Both objects, captured here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are found in the constellation of Sagittarius and lie 15,000 light-years away.

The star Hen 2-427 shines brightly at the very center of this explosive image and around the hot clumps of gas are ejected into space at over 150,000 kilometers (93,000 miles) per hour.

Hen 2-427 is a Wolf–Rayet star, named after the astronomers Charles Wolf and Georges Rayet. Wolf–Rayet are super-hot stars characterized by a fierce ejection of mass.

The nebula M1-67 is estimated to be no more than 10,000 years old — just a baby in astronomical terms — but what a beautiful and magnificent sight it makes.

A version of this image was released in 1998, but has now been re-reduced with the latest software.


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