To celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s launch, NASA astronomers pointed the observatory at one of the brightest stars seen in our Milky Way galaxy on Friday. It is called AG Carinae and is located about 20,000 light years away from us. It is not only a luminous spot in the sky, but also a luminous dust cloud, fighting a battle inside to avoid self-destruction. This star began to form through an eruption about 10,000 years ago, and may only survive for a few years, which is insignificant compared to the sun’s lifespan of approximately 10 billion years.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched 31 years ago on April 24. It is still in operation and can take spectacular images of the universe. Stars like AG Carinae are among the largest and brightest stars. The images NASA posted on Twitter were taken under ultraviolet light, which makes the dust structure around the star look clearer. Hubble is very suitable for ultraviolet observation.
Soon after the image was released, it received a lot of praise, and some users even thanked NASA. “What a beautiful star that lives on its own nebula. A Twitter user with the @Ferric_Foxide handle said: “I like the small complication of letting these hot stars do these things. “Another user @KramerDuc thanked NASA for “enriching mankind.”
NASA, known as the luminous blue variable, explained that these stars exhibit dual personalities. For a long time, they have been dormant, and then suddenly broke out and lost patience. Due to their size and incredibly high temperature, these stars have been in a battle to maintain stability between the radiation pressure radiating outward and the pressure from the outside world. Radiation often wins, exploding stars into volcanic eruptions. After the explosion, these stars again gained a certain degree of stability and remained stationary for a period of time.
NASA said that AG Carinae has also experienced two periods of pulling in opposite directions, but its outbreak was not so violent compared with its peers.
The luminous blue variables are important to astronomers because they have a profound impact on the environment, but they are rarely found: there are fewer than 50 known variables. These stars spent thousands of years at this stage, many of which ended in the Titanic supernova explosion, enriching the universe with heavy elements other than iron.