Hubble Image of the Week: A Cosmic Couple

Hubble Image of Star Hen 2-427 and Nebula M1-67

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 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.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

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