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Blowing bubbles – Wolf-Rayet stars put on dramatic show

15 June 2018 Astronomy Now

Energetic Wolf-Rayet stars near the end of their lives produce fast-moving stellar winds that can interact with the surrounding interstellar medium to generate spectacular bubbles in space. They rarely emit X-rays, but ESA’s XMM-Newton space telescope caught one in the act.


The dwarf galaxy that reveals the history of the universe

24 March 2015 Astronomy Now

Dwarf galaxy I Zw 18 stands out for its extreme scarcity of heavy elements, a characteristic typical of primeval galaxies. A map of ionised helium in the galaxy has just been published, indicating the presence of peculiar stars similar to the first that ever shone in the universe.