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Harel Boren | all galleries >> Nebulae > C11 NGC 7635 The Bubble Nebula
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C11 NGC 7635 The Bubble Nebula

C11 NGC 7635 The Bubble Nebula

On the right side of the image, The Bubble Nebula (C11, NGC 7635) is captured with much of the nebulosity surrounding it. The bright star in the Bubble itself is a Wolf-Rayet star, demonstrating a story quite similar to The Crescent Nebula's (NGC 6888 or Caldwell 27) seen elsewhere on this site. Living fast and dying young, this star is about 10-20 times (and some sources say: 40 times) the sun's mass, and shedding huge amounts of it into space, on its route to exploding as a supernova.

The bubble itself is formed by fierce stellar wind generated by the central Wolf-Rayet star, crashing into a giant molecular cloud which contains the expansion of the bubble, the denser region of which is concurrently ionized by the star's intense radiation and consequently glows faintly red (H II) as seen in the image. While Wolf-Rayet stars are not infrequent, the nice near-perfect spherical "bubbly" form is rather rare. The Bubble Nebula is located about 11,000 light years away; is 10 light years in diameter, and is expanding at 4 million miles per hour (7 million kilometers per hour).

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