This image reveals remarkable details in a nebula of gas and dust expelled from a young star named AFGL 2591. It is located within the Milky Way more than 3,000 light-years from Earth. Over the course of the last few thousand years, it has created a vast expanding nebula larger than 500 times the diameter of our solar system. The star is at least 10 times the size of the Sun, and over 20,000 times as bright, but perhaps only one million years old. The wispy white and blue structure in the expanding nebula is a huge outflow of gas and dust driven by the infall of material onto the star's surface. Gemini scientists believe that the outflow is likely occurring symmetrically around the star - a second giant-sized expanding nebula to the left of the star is hidden from view by a dense and extensive disk (or torus) of material encircling AFGL 2591.
|Observatory:||Gemini Observatory (North) Mauna Kea, Hawai'i|
|Astronomer:||C. Aspin (Gemini Observatory) and T. A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage)|
|Date of Observation:||06-21-2001|
|Filters and Assigned Colors:||h (blue), j (green) and k' (red)|
|Location of Image:||1.9 x 1.9 arcsminutes|
|Field of View:|
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