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News Release Archive:

News Release 7 of 210

December 17, 2013 10:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2013-51

Hubble Watches Super Star Create Holiday Light Show

A Hubble Heritage Release

December 17, 2013: 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."

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

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