Headlines > News > Picture of the Day - Hubble Peers Inside a Celestial Geode

Picture of the Day - Hubble Peers Inside a Celestial Geode

Published by Matt on Fri May 14, 2010 2:35 pm via: Hubble ESA
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In this unusual image, the 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.

Hubble Peers Inside a Celestial Geode. Credit: ESA/NASA, Yäel Nazé (University of Liège, Belgium) and You-Hua Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana, USA)

Hubble Peers Inside a Celestial Geode. Credit: ESA/NASA, Yäel Nazé (University of Liège, Belgium) and You-Hua Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana, USA)

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.

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