NASA Hubble Space Telescope says Happy Holidays, releases festive sonification of RS Puppis

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has released an image RS Puppis and it is the perfect personification of a festive occasion. Check details here.

| Updated on: Dec 26 2022, 18:39 IST
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A Cepheid variable star, RS Puppis is around 6500 light years away in the Puppis constellation. (

We have just celebrated Christmas and people are all ready for the celebration of the New Year too. Stars too are in a mood to celebrate, it seems, as is evident from the light show they are putting up. NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has shared a festive RS Puppos image that is simply amazing. This is a glittering star wreathed with dust. As per the details, this star is located about 6500 light-years away.

Informing about the same, the Hubble Space Telescope tweeted, "#HappyHolidays from Hubble! Here's a festive sonification of RS Puppis, a glittering star wreathed with dust. Located about 6500 light-years away, this star rhythmically brightens and dims over a six-week cycle."

According to the information provided by Hubble, in the sonification, pitch is assigned based on direction from the center; as the circle travels inward, points at the top of the circle are mapped to higher notes and points near the bottom are mapped to lower notes. Brightness in the image is mapped to louder volume.

"RS Puppis rhythmically brightens and dims over a six-week cycle. It is one of the most luminous in the class of so-called Cepheid variable stars. Its average intrinsic brightness is 15000 times greater than our Sun's luminosity," Hubblesite said in a report.

The nebula flickers in brightness as pulses of light from the Cepheid propagate outwards. Hubble took a series of photos of light flashes rippling across the nebula in a phenomenon known as a "light echo." Even though light travels through space fast enough to span the gap between Earth and the Moon in a little over a second, the nebula is so large that reflected light can actually be photographed traversing the nebula.

By observing the fluctuation of light in RS Puppis itself, as well as recording the faint reflections of light pulses moving across the nebula, astronomers are able to measure these light echoes and pin down a very accurate distance. The distance to RS Puppis has been narrowed down to 6,500 light-years (with a margin of error of only one percent), the report added.

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First Published Date: 26 Dec, 18:39 IST