NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, features one of the bright stars in the constellation Perseus, named Menkhib (at upper left near the red dust cloud), surrounded by the large star-forming California Nebula, running diagonally through the image. Menkhib is one of the hottest stars visible in the night sky; its surface temperature is about 37,000 Kelvin (about 66,000 degrees Fahrenheit, or more than six times hotter than the sun). Because of its high temperature, it appears blue-white to the human eye. It has about 40 times the mass of our sun and gives off 330,000 times the amount of light. Menkhib is a runaway star, and the fast stellar wind it blows is piling up in front of it to create a shock wave. This shock wave is heating up dust, which WISE sees as the red cloud in the upper left of the image. Menkhib and the California Nebula are about 1,800 light-years away from Earth and are located within the same spur of the Orion spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy as Earth. All four infrared detectors aboard WISE were used to make this image. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Stay In The Loop
Get explore deep space news, and updates delivered straight to your inbox! Be the first to learn about special contests and events in your area.
Abort systems go back to the future 🚀 historical experience with Mercury and Apollo helped guide @NASA_Orion Launch Abort System https://t.co/OjfrGXkAvx via @hackaday
In 2005 researchers pointed @NASAHubble toward the #moon searching for resources that would help future human-led missions mine and "live off the land" now we are ready to go back and capitalize off what we have learned https://t.co/N3gDWzPljv via @NASA
Learning from #Artemis ✏️ By spending time on the #Moon, we will learn how we contaminate it surface, how to work with the soil, about its water and water sources, and more 🌔 https://t.co/NfnMeS4nwP via @NASA
One of @NASA's longest-serving women began working at @NASAJPL in 1958 as a "human computer" and currently serves as a subsystems and testing engineer with no plans of retirement https://t.co/ECfJLJxF6o via @physorg_com