The Webb Space Telescope has captured a star on the cusp of death.
The Webb Space Telescope has captured the rare and fleeting phase of a star on the cusp of death.
NASA released the picture yesterday at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas.
Its infrared eyes observed all the gas and dust flung into space by a huge, hot star 15,000 light-years away.
A light-year is about 5.8 trillion miles. Shimmering in purple like a cherry blossom, the cast-off material once comprised the star's outer layer.
The Hubble Space Telescope snapped a shot of the same transitioning star a few decades ago, but it appeared more like a fireball without the delicate details.
Check it out below!
This is a rare one! A massive star in a Wolf-Rayet phase before going supernova. 💥@NASAWebb's observation of the star, WR 124, shows it in the process of casting off its outer layers, resulting in halos of gas and dust.— NASA Marshall (@NASA_Marshall) March 14, 2023
Learn more HERE>> https://t.co/skBRhJstJu pic.twitter.com/jvuaokTawp
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