A new camera called the One Degree Imager, located at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, is responsible for this enticingly crisp image of the Bubble Nebula. Released on December 4, this closeup highlights the sphere of gas blown out by the nebula's central star, which is 45 times larger than our own sun.
Located in the constellation Cassiopeia, the Bubble Nebula is ten light-years across. Intense radiation from the massive star causes the otherworldly glow that lights up what looks like a celestial soap bubble.
(Related: "Amazing Hubble Images.")
Space Pictures This Week: Lunar Gravity, Venusian Volcano
Tortured plasma escapes from the sun, scientists map the moon's gravity, and Venus reveals one of her secrets.