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Hubble peers inside a celestial geode

Hubble peers inside a celestial geode

Date: 13 August 2004
Satellite: Hubble
Depicts: N44F
Copyright: ESA/NASA, Yäel Nazé (University of Liège, Belgium) and You-Hua Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana, USA)

In this unusual image, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures a rare view of the celestial equivalent of a geode - a gas cavity carved by the stellar wind and intense ultraviolet radiation from a young hot star.

Real geodes are handball-sized, hollow rocks that start out as bubbles in volcanic or sedimentary rock. Only when these inconspicuous round rocks are split in half by a geologist, do we get a chance to appreciate the inside of the rock cavity that is lined with crystals. In the case of Hubble's 35 light-year diameter 'celestial geode' the transparency of its bubble-like cavity of interstellar gas and dust reveals the treasures of its interior.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
18-Jun-2024 21:34 UT

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