The Hubble Space Telescope launched into orbit on April 24, 1990, and it’s been looking into the far reaches of space and beaming images back to us ever since. In honor of its 31st birthday, NASA turned the space telescope’s attention toward a distant and jaw-droppingly beautiful “celebrity star.”
AG Carinae, which NASA calls one of the brightest stars seen in our galaxy, we can thank space gas and space dust for this beautiful explosion of light and color. The star exploded outwards around 10,000 years ago, releasing all the stellar material making up its gorgeous halo in the process.
This sort of explosion is typical for the type of star AG Carinae is — a luminous blue variable. “These outbursts are the typical life of a rare breed of star called a luminous blue variable, a brief convulsive phase in the short life of an ultra-bright glamorous star that lives fast and dies young.” That description should eliminate any confusion as to where the “celebrity star” moniker comes in.