Our cosmic bubble


Star-forming region N44 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, about 170,000 light-years away: The oval bubble several hundred light-years across on the right, which was formed by stellar winds and explosions, is striking. The solar system also moves through such a bubble.

All of the young star-forming regions around the sun are on the surface of a massive bubble. It was created by supernovae.


Astronomers have long observed hot gas bubbles in our Milky Way. These formations are a few hundred light-years across and give the galaxy a texture akin to that of Swiss cheese. Such bubbles can also be found in other galaxies such as the Large Magellanic Cloud. Ironically, observing the bubble closest to us turns out to be particularly difficult. Because we are in the middle of it - close to the center.

The gas in this local bubble is up to a million degrees, but only about

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