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News Release Archive:

News Release 876 of 967

January 13, 1994 12:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1994-06

Hubble Sees Changes in Gas Shell around Nova Cygni 1992

An Early Release Observation Release / An American Astronomical Society Meeting Release

January 13, 1994: The Hubble telescope has given astronomers their best look yet at a rapidly ballooning bubble of gas blasted off a star.

The shell surrounds Nova Cygni 1992, which erupted Feb. 19, 1992. A nova is a thermonuclear explosion that occurs on the surface of a white dwarf star in a double-star system. The image [right], taken after Hubble's near-sightedness had been corrected, reveals an elliptical and slightly lumpy ring-like structure. The ring is the edge of a bubble of hot gas blasted into space by the nova. Another Hubble picture taken 467 days after the explosion [left] provided the first glimpse of the ring and a mysterious bar-like structure. But the image interpretation was severely hampered by the telescope's blurred vision.

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Credit: F. Paresce, R. Jedrzejewski (STScI), NASA/ESA