Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula, and surroundings in Cassiopeia

NGC 7635, the Bubble Nebula, and surroundings in Cassiopeia
Click on the image to enlarge

Seemingly adrift in a cosmic sea of stars and gas, this delicate, floating apparition is cataloged as NGC 7635: the Bubble Nebula. In this wide-angle view, the Bubble Nebula lies at the center of a larger complex of shocked glowing gas about 11,000 light-years distant in the fair constellation Cassiopeia. NGC 7635 really is an interstellar bubble, blown by winds from the brightest star visible within the bubble's boundary. The bubble's expansion is constrained by the surrounding material. About 10 light-years in diameter, if the Bubble nebula were centered on the Sun, the Sun's nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, would also be enclosed.
This color image is based on data coming from several photographic plates taken between 1991 and 1992 through the Palomar Observatory's 48-inch (1,2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope as a part of the second National Geographic Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS II). The photographs were recorded on two type of glass photographic plates - one sensitive to red light and the other to blue and later they were digitized.
Credit: Davide De Martin

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