NASA shared a comparison between two images showing puffing dust bubble and erupting gas shell which were the final stages of a ‘monster’ star’s life.

In celebration of the 31st anniversary of the launching of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers aimed the renowned observatory at a brilliant “celebrity star,” one of the brightest stars seen in our galaxy, surrounded by a glowing halo of gas and dust, said NASA on April 23 this year.

With these views, NASA’s Hubble Space telescope observed the dual nature of star AG Carinae. The new perspective, NASA explained, was a result of the telescope’s observations of the star in 2020 and 2014.

The first image depicts ionized hydrogen and nitrogen emissions from the expanding shell of nebula in red (birthing stage of a star) and the second image in blue showed the distribution of dust which could be seen shining due to reflection caused by the star light.

According to astronomers, powerful stellar winds released off the star formed and shaped the dust bubbles. The nebula is about 5 light years wide, similar to the distance from Earth to the next nearest star from Earth after Sun, Proxima Centauri.

AG Carinae shows that luminous blue variable stars continuously lose mass in the final stages of their lives. The star here, can be seen waging a tug-of-war between gravity and radiation pressure, to avoid self-destruction, explains NASA.

The stellar material succumbs to gravity and falls towards the inside . It heats up and is violently ejected into its surrounding interstellar space and this continues till enough mass is lost and the star reaches a stable state.

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NASA further explained that the nebula around AG Carinae was formed by material ejected from the star in the past due to several outbursts and that the nebula is atleast 10,000 years old.

Scientists that closely observed the star and its surrounding nebula noted that the ring was not perfectly spherical in shape but was rather of a bipolar symmetry. Another alternative theory adopted by observers is that, like most massive stars, AG Carinae may rotate very fast.

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