The image above depicts the NGC 3199 cosmic gas bubble in its whole splendor, with vibrant colors ranging from bright blue to shiny yellow. NGC 3199 is produced by a star known as WR 18 star, therefore it is also known as a Wolf Rayet bubble.
Wolf Rayet stars are massive, powerful, and energetic stars that are about to reach the end of their lives.
The WR 18 star forming the NGC 3199 cosmic gas bubble emits dense and fast solar winds that are pushing and sweeping the existing matter, sculpting strange, and fascinating shapes in their path.
These strong solar winds can generate powerful shock waves by striking the colder interstellar environment, heating up all the matter in the vicinity. Through this process, the matter can reach temperatures so high that it emits X-rays.
This is what happened in the case of NGC 3199 Wolf Rayet bubble
Although this type of situation has been seen before, it is still rare since only three other Wolf-Rayet bubbles emitting X-rays have been detected, to date.
Once the WR 18 star’s matter feeding these winds is depleted, the star will explode violently, forming a supernova and ending its life with one last explosion.
The image was captured by the EPIC (European Photon Imaging Chamber) instrument of ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray space observatory and the different gases have been color-coded.
The hotter, more diffuse gas, which emits X-rays into the NGC 3199 Wolf-Rayet bubble, is shown in blue, while the bright and visible arc in the spectrum has been colored in greenish yellow, showing oxygen emissions, and red, showing sulfur emissions. The blue and yellow-green components form a visible nebula, a bright cloud of ionized dust and gases, which extends to the western end of the X-ray Wolf Rayet bubble.
It is believed that the formation of NGC 3199 is due to variations in the chemical composition surrounding the Wolf Rayet bubble and the initial configuration of the interstellar environment surrounding the WR 18 star.
Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.