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 XMM-Newton Home > Gallery Home > Stars > Nebulae > HD 50896

S308, a Wolf-Rayet Bubble Imaged by XMM-Newton in its Full Glory

Image
Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of J.A. Toala and M.A. Guerrero (IAA-CSIC), Y.-H. Chu and R.A. Gruendl (UIUC), S.J. Arthur (CRyA - UNAM), R.C. Smith (NOAO/CTIO), and S.L. Snowden (NASA/GSFC) and G.Ramos-Larios (IAM) and ESA. (for details, see Conditions of Use).

The image above can be displayed at full size and may be downloaded by clicking the image above.

About this Image

XMM-Newton EPIC (blue) and CTIO optical H-alpha (red) and [O III] (green) images of the bubble S308 around the Wolf-Rayet star HD 50896. The large angular size of this WR bubble required the acquisition of a mosaic of four XMM-Newton EPIC observations by a team led by Y.-H. Chu (University of Illinois). The optical images were taken by R.C. Smith (NOAO/CTIO) using the Michigan Curtis Schmidt telescope. Located at 5,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Canis Major, S308 is a colossal bubble, almost 60 light-years across, blown by the powerful stellar wind of the WR star HD 50896. The stellar wind itself is shock-heated to high temperatures and emits X-rays, whereas the nebular material seen in H-alpha is snow-plowed by the stellar wind and a shock propagating outwards into the circumstellar medium is seen in the [O III] light. This bubble will soon break and disperse into the circumstellar medium. The WR star will end its life later in a supernova explosion.

Investigator(s):  Jesus A. Toala and Martin A. Guerrero (IAA-CSIC), You-Hua Chu and Robert A. Gruendl (UIUC), S. Jane Arthur (CRyA - UNAM), R. Chris Smith (NOAO/CTIO), and Steve L. Snowden (NASA/GSFC)

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XMM-Newton; Europe's X-Ray Observatory
Last update: 09-Oct-2013 by