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Young stars rock their cradle in Hubble pic

Intense radiation from newly born, ultra-bright stars has blown a glowing spherical bubble in the nebula N83B  

(CNN) -- A group of stellar newcomers made a spectacular debut into the universe, casting off their nebulous nursery veil in an astronomical blink of an eye.

Blue, bright, hot and massive, the stars have blown a spherical bubble around themselves, a luminous storm seen in-depth for the first time in a newly released Hubble image.

Usually difficult to observe, such large newborn stars evolve quickly and hide behind shrouds of dust and gas.

But astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope caught a glimpse of the juveniles in a nearby galaxy as they emerged from their spherical cocoon. About 25 light-years across, the bubble could have been produced in less than 30,000 years in the recent astronomical past.


The main bubble maker is not the bright spot in the upper part of the gaseous region. The seemingly gentle star in the very center of the nebula is the culprit. It actually has 30 times more mass and burns 200,000 brighter than our sun.

The intense radiation and stellar winds from the star pushed out the central gas, which both formed the bubble and spurred the genesis of more stars, including ultra- massive ones in the unusually bright upper region, astronomers theorize.

The hottest star resides in the luminous region, which is only about 2 light-years across. Its powerful stellar wind could have created the bright arc just below it.

The bubble is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, only 165,000 light-years from our own Milky Way. The galaxy can be seen easily with the unaided eye from the Southern Hemisphere.

Blue corresponds with the hottest regions and red the coldest in the new Hubble image, which was released Wednesday.

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Space Telescope Science Institute
Hubble Heritage Project

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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