The Webb Space Telescope recently captured an image of a star transitioning to its final stage before exploding, according to a press release by NASA. The infrared telescope, which launched in late 2021, captured the rare event, which was announced at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. The star, known as WR 124, is located 15,000 light-years away and is thirty times as massive as our sun. The cast-off material, seen shimmering in purple like a cherry blossom, was the star’s outer layer. This transformation normally occurs only with some stars and is typically the last step before they go supernova. Scientists noted that they had never seen it in such detail before. The photo was compared with an image of the same star taken by the Hubble Space Telescope a few decades ago, which appeared more like a fireball without the delicate details.

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