European Southern Observatory (ESO) recently released stunning images and videos of a glowing gas cloud taken by their Very Large Telescope in Chile.
The nebula, known as LHA 120-N55 or N55 is situated inside a superbubble called Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which is 163 000 light-years away from Earth. It was captured using Focal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph (FORS2) instrument attached to ESO's VLT as part of the of the ESO Cosmic Gems programme.
Superbubbles are vast structures that were formed when the fierce winds from newly formed stars and shockwaves from supernova explosions caused by dying star blow away most of the gas and dust that were originally surrounding them, creating huge bubble-shaped cavities.
According to a press release from ESO, N55 consists of materials that survived as a small remnant pocket of gas and dust that became a standalone nebula inside LMC 4 and LH 72, a grouping of brilliant blue and white stars managed to form hundreds of millions of years after the events that originally blew up the superbubble. Astronomers noted that LH 72 stars are too young to have a role in the supernova that blew the space around N55. However, astronomers believe that the stars in LH 72 represent a second round of stellar birth in the region.
Space.com reported that astronomers believe that in a few million years, the young stars in LH 72 will begin to undergo supernova that will blow away the materials of N55, creating a bubble within a superbubble. This marks another stage in the cycle of starry ends and beginnings.
ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organization in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile.
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