The color of a blue nebula is given by the chemical composition of the surrounding cosmic cloud.
(Mirror Daily, United States) – NASA’s Hubble photographed a blue nebula cluster that resides roughly 30,000 light-years away. The photographs taken by NASA’s telescope are the most accurate pictures of a star that we have.
The WR31a star is, in fact, a Wolf-Rayet type nebula. These nebulae are usually ring-shaped, or even appear to be spherical. What is even more interesting about the latest Wolf-Rayet-type star that Hubble photographed is the fact that it is blue.
Researchers think that the unique color is given by the composition of the interstellar cloud that surrounds the star.
The material themselves don’t give the color, but their chemical composition filters the light emitted by the star and create the unique, blue effect.
The astronomers that studied the data collected by Hubble think that the interstellar cloud contains a high concentration of helium, hydrogen, and dust, especially carbon dust. This means that, apart from the noble gasses, the star is surrounded by diamond dust.
But it seems that every beautiful thing in the universe must ultimately suffer a terrible fate. According to the scientists, the stars that fall into the Wolf-Rayet category are short lived.
The nebulae usually have a short lifespan of just only a couple hundred thousand years. This is an insignificant amount of time in the overall age of the Universe.
By comparison, our Sun is approximately four billion years old and scientists believe that it’s going to be another four billion or so before it turns into a supernova.
Compared to our center of the solar system, the WR31a star is just a little baby.
But the beautiful nebula doesn’t just waste away after a couple hundred thousand years. The star usually goes supernova and the explosion fills the surrounding space with plenty of heavy elements that will prove very useful for the future star generations.
Astronomers believe that this type of beautiful short-lived nebulae are created by the interaction of fast-moving cosmic stellar winds with the hydrogen layers that the Wolf-Rayet type stars eject.
This particular nebula’s blue bubble is believed to have formed roughly 20000 years ago and it’s rapidly expanding. According to the researchers, the expansion rate of the surrounding bubble is of 220000 kilometers per hour.
Sooner rather than later the blue nebula that Hubble photographed will explode and its remains will be the basis of future stars formation.
NASA’s Hubble photographed a blue nebula and the mayfly of stars is as beautiful as a diamond in the rough.
Image source: www.pixabay.com