Prelude to a Supernova

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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·       Webb image of WR 124: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team

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An array of photos of space. Text. News from the Universe, March 23, 2023. Prelude to a supernova. 
Huge dust clouds of pink, purple, and brown surround a bright star. Countless smaller stars dot the black background. 
Text, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has captured the rare sight of a Wolf-Rayet star. 
Wolf-Rayet stars are among the most luminous, most massive, and most briefly detectable stars known. 
These types of stars are surrounded by a characteristic nebula of their own cast-off material, a brief, beautiful phase before they explode in a supernova. 
Cosmic dust created in Wolf-Rayet nebulas may go on to form the foundation of stars, planets, and molecules. 
Webb balances the star's brightness with the fainter nebula and allows astronomers to study the dust-forming region in unprecedented detail. 
This news was brought to you in part by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.