Wings of Cepheus

NASA/ESA Hubble

A wing, or fan, sweeps across a star in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Explore the swirls, loops and turbulence in this star cloud. What stories or shapes do you see? Leave a note in the comments below.

V* PV Cephei is the young star just at the edge of the bluish wing, known as GM 1-29 or Gyulbudaghian’s Nebula. As you pan across the fan, look for curls and bright patches within the nebula. While we see only a fan, the nebula itself probably surrounds the bright star. Just like a doorway lets in only a little light, dust surrounding PV Cep is blocking most of the starlight, leaving just a shaft of light to light up the dust cloud.

Astronomers like to study the wing-shaped nebula because it changes over the span of just a few months. The star also varies in brightness over a short period of time.

PV Cep is found about 1,600 light-years from Earth toward the constellation of Cepheus, the King.

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