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Carving the cosmos

11 Jun 2018, 07:40 UTC
Carving the cosmos ESA/XMM-Newton; J. Toalá; D.Goldman

This turbulent celestial palette of purple and yellow shows a bubble of gas named NGC 3199, blown by a star known as WR18 (Wolf-Rayet 18). Wolf-Rayet stars are massive, powerful, and energetic stars that are just about reaching the end of their lives. They flood their surroundings with thick, intense, fast-moving winds that push and sweep at the material found there, carving out weird and wonderful shapes as they do so. These winds can create strong shockwaves when they collide with the comparatively cool interstellar medium, causing them to heat up anything in their vicinity.

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