A blue-tinted cosmic bubble floats 30,000 light-years from Earth.
A newly-released photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope shows a star, named WR 31a, circled by a Wolf–Rayet nebula — the bubble-shaped blue structure made of gas and dust in the image.
«Unfortunately, the lifecycle of a Wolf–Rayet star is only a few hundred thousand years — the blink of an eye in cosmic terms,» Hubble said in a statement.
«Despite beginning life with a mass at least 20 times that of the sun, Wolf–Rayet stars typically lose half their mass in less than 100,000 years.»
Scientists think that the nebula formed about 20,000 years ago, and it’s speeding outward at about 136,700 miles per hour, Hubble said.
One day, WR 31a will likely explode as a supernova when it reaches the end of its stellar life.