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Hubble image of variable star RS Puppis | by NASA Hubble
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Hubble image of variable star RS Puppis

This Hubble image shows RS Puppis, a type of variable star known as a Cepheid variable. As variable stars go, Cepheids have comparatively long periods — RS Puppis, for example, varies in brightness by almost a factor of five every 40 or so days. RS Puppis is unusual; this variable star is shrouded by thick, dark clouds of dust enabling a phenomenon known as a light echo to be shown with stunning clarity. These Hubble observations show the ethereal object embedded in its dusty environment, set against a dark sky filled with background galaxies.


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Image credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA) – Hubble/Europe Collaboration

Acknowledgement: H. Bond (STScI and Pennsylvania State University)

Text credit: Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

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Taken on December 17, 2013