J. BAUM & N. HENBEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J. BAUM & N. HENBEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Sun's neighbourhood. Map of a small portion of our Milky Way galaxy centred on the Sun. The Sun lies near the centre of the central loop of gas (yellow). Known as the Local Bubble, it has a diameter of some 500 light years and, like the other gas loops surrounding it, was created either by blast waves of supernova explosions or by the combined stellar winds of young stars. Red giant stars are marked by red circles with yellow cores, blue giant stars by blue circles with white cores. Pink areas are planetary nebulae, which mark the final stages in the life of certain stars. The Henbest/Baum galaxy map is based on the locations of 1500 bright stars, nebulae and other objects.
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