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Fourth echelon

do the nasty

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Astronomers nickname one-of-a-kind Wolf-Rayet star 'Nasty 1'


BERKELEY, Calif., May 22 (UPI) -- The Hubble Space Telescope recently spotted a star never-before-seen in the Milky Way, or anywhere else. The massive star, which lies some 3,000 light-years from Earth, has been tentatively labeled a Wolf-Rayet.

But while most Wolf-Rayet stars are marked by their twin polar lobes of burning gas, the newly discovered star is surrounded by a large, flat disk of gas, measuring some 2 trillion miles wide. Scientists believe they're observing a Wolf-Rayet in a never-before-seen (and likely short-lived) transition phase.

The star's catalog name (NaSt1) inspired astronomers to nickname it Nasty 1. But its strange appearance and the source of its unusual nature align with the moniker.



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