Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 17:35 EDT
Giant star IRC10216
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Giant star IRC+10216

September 9, 2010
ESA's Herschel infrared space observatory has shown that the dying star IRC+10216 is surrounded by a large volume of high-temperature water vapour. This colour-coded image shows the star, surrounded by a clumpy envelope of dust, at three infrared wavelengths, taken by Herschel's PACS and SPIRE instruments. The blue colour represents the PACS 160 micron image, the green colour is the SPIRE 250 micron image, and the red colour the SPIRE 350 micron image.