Release 836 of 1,156

Hubble Snapshot Captures Life Cycle of Stars

Release date: Jun 1, 1999 1:30 PM (EDT)
Release type: American Astronomical Society Meeting

In this stunning picture of the giant galactic nebula NGC 3603, the Hubble telescope's crisp resolution captures various stages of the life cycle of stars in one single view.

This picture nicely illustrates the entire stellar life cycle of stars, starting with the Bok globules and giant gaseous pillars (evidence of embryonic stars), followed by circumstellar disks around young stars, and progressing to aging, massive stars in a young starburst cluster. The blue super-giant with its ring and bipolar outflow [upper left of center] marks the end of the life cycle.