Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Life Cycle of Stars

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured this stunning true-color picture of the giant galactic nebula NGC 3603 on March 5, 1999 with its Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

This single view nicely illustrates the entire stellar life cycle of stars, starting with the Bok globules and giant gaseous pillars, followed by circumstellar disks, and progressing to evolved massive stars in the young starburst cluster. The blue supergiant with its ring and bipolar outflow marks the end of the life cycle.
NASA Image of the Day

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