The new composite images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveal the dual nature of the giant star AG Carinae.
This Hubble image shows a giant star called AG Carinae. The color image was made from separate exposures taken in the visible region of the spectrum with Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). It is based on data obtained through two filters. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / A. Nota / C. Britt.
Found within the constellation of Carina in the southern sky, AG Carinae lies approximately 20,000 light-years away.
Also known as HD 94910, the star is a few million years old and its expected lifetime is between 5 and 6 million years.
AG Carinae is classified as a Luminous Blue Variable. These rare objects are massive evolved stars that will become Wolf-Rayet stars, a class of stars that are tens of thousands to several million times as luminous as the Sun.
The giant star is waging a tug-of-war between gravity and radiation to avoid self-destruction.