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News Release 660 of 955

November 5, 1998 09:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1998-38

Great Balls of Fire! Hubble Sees Bright Knots Ejected From Brilliant Star

November 5, 1998: Resembling an aerial fireworks explosion, this dramatic Hubble telescope picture of the energetic star WR124 reveals that it is surrounded by hot clumps of gas being ejected into space at speeds of over 100,000 mph.

Also remarkable are vast arcs of glowing gas around the star, which are resolved into clumps, yet with no overall global shell structure. Though the existence of clumps in the winds of hot stars has been deduced through spectroscopic observations, Hubble resolves them directly in the nebula M1-67 around WR124 as 100-billion-mile-wide glowing gas blobs.

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Credit: Yves Grosdidier (University of Montreal and Observatoire de Strasbourg), Anthony Moffat (Universitie de Montreal), Gilles Joncas (Universite Laval), Agnes Acker (Observatoire de Strasbourg), and NASA