NASA’s telescope captured space butterfly

It is in reality a nursery for hundreds of baby stars.


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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 nebula is almost 1,400 light-years from the Sun in the constellation Serpens, about the same distance as the well-known Orion nebula.

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.


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