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Hubble and a Cepheid Variable Star

8 Jan 2019, 04:45 UTC
Hubble and a Cepheid Variable Star
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The last Hubble post showed a variable star known as a RR Lyrae, this is another type of variable star called a Cepheid variable.
Keep in mind this particular image was a holiday offering by Hubble when reading the original caption below.
While we will go more into variable stars in the very near future, you can get a brief description of them here.
NASA/Hubble: This festive NASA Hubble Space Telescope image resembles a holiday wreath made of sparkling lights. The bright southern hemisphere star RS Puppis, at the center of the image, is swaddled in a gossamer cocoon of reflective dust illuminated by the glittering star. The super star is ten times more massive than the Sun and 200 times larger.
RS Puppis rhythmically brightens and dims over a six-week cycle. It is one of the most luminous in the class of so-called Cepheid variable stars. Its average intrinsic brightness is 15,000 times greater than the Sun’s luminosity.
The nebula flickers in brightness as pulses of light from the Cepheid propagate outwards. Hubble took a series of photos of light flashes rippling across the nebula in a phenomenon known as a “light echo.” Even though light travels through space ...

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