Great balls of fire! NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has detected superhot blobs of gas, each twice as massive as the planet Mars, being ejected near a dying star. The plasma balls are zooming so fast through space it would take only 30 minutes for them to travel from Earth to the moon. This stellar "cannon fire" has continued once every 8.5 years for at least the past 400 years, astronomers estimate.
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Donna Weaver / Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
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Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California