Fleeting Fiery Plumes | Space Wallpaper

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Campbell’s Hydrogen Star

About this Image

This space wallpaper, snapped by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the star HD 184738, also known as Campbell’s hydrogen star. It is surrounded by plumes of reddish gas — the fiery red and orange hues are caused by glowing gases, including hydrogen and nitrogen. HD 184738 is at the center of a small planetary nebula. The star itself is known as a [WC] star, a rare class resembling their much more massive counterparts — Wolf-Rayet stars. [WC] stars are low-mass Sun-like stars at the end of their lives. While these stars have recently ejected much of their original mass, the hot stellar core is still losing mass at a high rate, creating a hot wind. It is these winds that cause them to resemble Wolf-Rayet stars. This image was released Sept. 16, 2013.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA Acknowledgement: Jean-Christophe Lambry


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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff,

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. We transport our visitors across the solar system and beyond through accessible, comprehensive coverage of the latest news and discoveries. For us, exploring space is as much about the journey as it is the destination. 

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