NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has recently shared an image of a nebula that appears like a red butterfly in space. Originally named Westerhout 40 (W40), the nebula is home to many stars.
The butterfly wings appearing in the image are giant bubbles of hot interstellar gas blowing from the hottest, most massive stars in this region. The wings-forming material is ejected by a star cluster between the wings in the image.
W40 IRS 1a is the hottest, most massive of these stars. It is located near the center of the star cluster.