News Release Archive:

News Release 41 of 44

January 8, 2007 12:20 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2007-03

Astronomers Map a Hypergiant Star's Massive Outbursts

Technical facts about this news release:

About the Object
Object Name: VY Canis Majoris
Object Description: Variable Star with Circumstellar Nebula
Position (J2000): R.A. 07h 22m 58s.33
Dec. -25° 46' 3".2
Constellation: Canis Major
Distance: Approximately 5,000 light-years (1.5 kiloparsecs)
Dimensions: These images are roughly 35 arcseconds (0.85 light-years or 0.25 parsecs) across.
About the Data
Data Description: The Hubble image was created from HST data from proposals 7304: R. Humphreys, K. Davidson, T. Jones, and R. Gehrz (University of Minnesota) and J. Krautter and T. Szeifert (Landessternwarte, Heidelberg); and 10262: R. Humphreys and T. Jones (University of Minnesota), G. Herbig (University of Hawaii), and G. Wallerstein (University of Washington).
Instrument: WFPC2 ACS/HFC
Filters: F410M (Strömgren v), F656N (H-alpha), F547M (Strömgren y), and F1042M F658N (R) (POL0V, POL60V, and POL120V)
F550M (V) (POL0V, POL60V, and POL120V)
Exposure Date: March 22, 1999 and June 13, 2005 August 17, 2004
About the Image
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration
Release Date: January 8, 2007

This image is a composite of many separate exposures made by the WFPC2 and ACS instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope using several different filters. Three filters were used to sample various wavelength ranges in each instrument. The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic image. In this case, the assigned colors are:

Massive Star VY Canis Majoris - Visible Light
Massive Star VY Canis Majoris - Polarized Light
F410M (Strömgren v)
F550M (R; POL0V)
F547M (Strömgren y)
F550M (R; POL60V)
F656N (H-alpha)+F1042M
F550M (R; POL120V)


Orientation/Scale: Massive Star VY Canis Majoris - Visible Light