Spitzer spots cosmic bubbles generated by massive young stars

The sheer energy of newborn, massive stars produces cosmic bubbles of gas and dust stretching tens of lightyears across.

Published: April 18, 2020 at 8:15 am
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Cosmic bubbles seen by the Spitzer Space Telescope NASA/JPL-Caltech/Milky Way Project

This colourful cosmic view shows clouds of gas and dust in space that are expanding like bubbles due to the radiation outflow of massive young stars.


Each of these bubbles is about 10-30 lightyears across and filled with hundreds to thousands of stars.

The region is found in within our galaxy the Milky Way, in the constellation Aquila.

The image was captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope before it was placed in safe mode in January 2020, ending its 16-year mission.

View an annotated version of this image here.

Image stats

Observatory Spitzer Space Telescope

Release date 30 September 2019


Image credit NASA/JPL-Caltech/Milky Way Project


Iain Todd, BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Iain ToddScience journalist

Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Content Editor. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.


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