Harvard Astronomers on the ‘Detective Story’ of a 1,000-Light-Year-Wide Bubble Surrounding Earth 

Local Bubble

 

“This is really an origin story; for the first time we can explain how all nearby star formation began,” says astronomer and data visualization expert Catherine Zucker a NASA Hubble Fellow at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics and Space Science Institute about the discovery that Earth sits in a 1,000-light-year-wide void surrounded by thousands of young stars.

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“Bubble Worlds” –Milky Way’s Star Incubators

 

Bubble Worlds

 

Astronomers have observed two cosmic bubble phenomenon in the Milky Way Galaxy and far beyond. The infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope above shows a cloud of gas and dust full of bubbles, estimated to be 10 to 30 light-years across, which are inflated by wind and radiation from hundreds of thousand of young, massive stars which form from dense clouds of gas and dust. Black veins running throughout the cloud are regions of especially dense cold dust and gas where even more new stars are likely to form.

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