News Release Archive:

News Release 613 of 1057

December 5, 2002 12:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2002-29

Hubble Photographs 'Double Bubble' in Neighboring Galaxy

A Hubble Heritage Release

December 5, 2002: A unique peanut-shaped cocoon of dust, called a reflection nebula, surrounds a cluster of young, hot stars in this view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The "double bubble," called N30B, is inside a larger nebula, named DEM L 106. The larger nebula is embedded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way located 160,000 light-years away. The wispy filaments of DEM L 106 fill much of the image.

Q & A: Understanding the Discovery

  1. 1. Where are the hot stars in the image?

  2. The hot stars are inside the double bubble. Hubble captures the brilliant blue-white colors of these stars. The very bright star at the top of the picture, called Henize S22, illuminates the dusty cocoon like a flashlight shining on smoke particles. This searing supergiant star is only 25 light-years from the N30B nebula. Viewed from N30B, the brilliant star would appear 250 times brighter than the planet Venus does in our sky.

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Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Acknowledgment: M.S. Oey (Lowell Observatory) and Y.-H. Chu (U. of Illinois)