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Superbubble Complex N44
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Superbubble Complex N44

January 6, 2006

Known as the N44 superbubble complex, this cloudy tempest is dominated by a vast bubble about 325 by 250 light-years across. A cluster of massive stars inside the cavern has cleared away gas to form a distinctive mouth-shaped hollow shell.

While astronomers do not agree on exactly how this bubble has evolved for up to the past 10 million years, they do know that the central cluster of massive stars is responsible for the cloud's unusual appearance. It is likely that the explosive death of one or more of the cluster's most massive and short-lived stars played a key role in the formation of the large bubble.



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