Why does the trailing hydrogen gas glow in ultraviolet light? When it is heated, it transitions into a higher-energy state, which then loses energy by emitting ultraviolet light – a process known as fluorescence. Finally, the artist’s rendering gives way to the actual ultraviolet image taken by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer.
Mira is located 350 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cetus, otherwise known as the whale. Coincidentally, Mira and its “whale of a tail” can be found in the tail of the whale constellation.