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Thursday, 3 December 2009

Hottest star in the galaxy discovered

Astronomers have discovered one of the fieriest stars in the galaxy which is 35 times hotter than the sun.

The dying star which has a surface temperature of 200,000 degrees was captured by astronomers at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics in the University of Manchester by using the recently refurbished Hubble Space Telescope (HST).

The star was located at centre of the Bug Nebula which is about 3,500 light years away in the constellation Scorpius.

The Bug Nebula is a bipolar planetary nebula in the constellation Scorpius -- one of the areas of the celestial sphere. Nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas, helium gas and plasma.

This is the first time the star has been pictured despite numerous attempts by stargazers across the world, The Daily Mail reported.

“This star was so hard to find because it is hidden behind a cloud of dust and ice in the middle of the nebula,” explained Prof Albert Zijlstra from the University of Manchester.

“Planetary nebulae like the Bug form when a dying star ejects much of its gas back into space and are among the most beautiful objects in the night sky,” he said.

The images were taken to show off the new improved HST, which space shuttle astronomers installed with a new Wide Field Camera earlier this year.

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