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Gas blobs around nova T Pyxidis, HST

Gas blobs around nova T Pyxidis, HST

R730/0046

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Credit

NASA / ESA / STSCI / M.SHARA, ET AL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / M.SHARA, ET AL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

T Pyxidis nova. Coloured Hubble space telescope image of gas blobs around the T Pyxidis nova star (upper centre). The colours show light intensity, from black (lowest) through blue, green & red to white (highest). T Pyxidis is a dying white dwarf star which captures hydrogen fuel from a neighbouring star about once every 20 years, causing it to flare in brightness again and eject shells of gas. The gas ejected at the start of the flare moves faster than that at the end. This fast gas collides with the slower gas forming gaseous blobs that are each about the size of our solar system.

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