Stinky star: Dying red giant releases ‘rotten egg’ smell light years away

NASA image of a dying star stinking up space 5,000 light years away (NASA)
NASA image of a dying star stinking up space 5,000 light years away (ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt)

HOUSTON (KXAN) — A smell that you can’t blame on the dog. A dying star is stinking up space roughly 5,000 light years away.

NASA and the European Space Agency have released a photo of the calabash nebula captured by the Hubble Telescope. The dying star, known as a red giant, blows out its outer layers during the final stages of death.

The dying process leaves clouds of dust and gas behind. It is also known as the “rotten egg nebula” because it contains high amounts of sulfur, which smells like rotten eggs. NASA says the gas travels close to 621,371 miles per hour.

Astronomers rarely get the chance to see this kind of process because of how quickly it occurs.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s