Release 140 of 1,056
Hubble Watches Super Star Create Holiday Light Show
Release date: Dec 17, 2013 10:00 AM (EST)
Hubble Watches Super Star Create Holiday Light Show
Release type: Hubble Heritage

This festive NASA Hubble Space Telescope image resembles a holiday wreath made of sparkling lights. The bright southern hemisphere star RS Puppis, at the center of the image, is swaddled in a gossamer cocoon of reflective dust illuminated by the glittering star. RS Puppis rhythmically brightens and dims over a six-week cycle. It is one of the most luminous in the class of so-called Cepheid variable stars. The nebula flickers in brightness as pulses of light from the Cepheid propagate outwards. Hubble took a series of photos of light flashes rippling across the nebula in a phenomenon known as a "light echo."

Release ID: STScI-2013-51
Release images (2)
Cepheid Variable Star RS Puppis
Release videos (2)
RS Puppis Rotation Sequence
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Credits

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-Hubble/Europe Collaboration

Acknowledgment: H. Bond (STScI and Pennsylvania State University)