Nearby planetary nebula NGC 5189 and its bright gaseous nebula resembles a holiday ornament with a glowing ribbon - so it is perfect for a new Hubble image during the Christmas season.
Planetary nebulae represent the final brief stage in the life of a medium-sized star. While consuming the last of the fuel in its core, the dying star expels a large portion of its outer envelope and this material then becomes heated by the radiation from the stellar remnant and radiates, producing glowing clouds of gas that can show complex structures, as the ejection of mass from the star is uneven in both time and direction.
The bluish lobes of NGC 5189 show its knotty and filamentary structure. As a result of the mass-loss process, the planetary nebula has been created with two nested structures, tilted with respect to each other, that expand away from the center in different directions.
This double bipolar or quadrupolar structure could be explained by the presence of a binary companion orbiting the central star and influencing the pattern of mass ejection during its nebula-producing death throes. The remnant of the central star, having lost much of its mass, now lives its final days as a white dwarf. However, there is no visual candidate for the possible companion.
Credit: Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
The bright golden ring that twists and tilts through the image is made up of a large collection of radial filaments and cometary knots. These are usually formed by the combined action of photo-ionizing radiation and stellar winds.
This image was taken with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 on October 8, 2012, in filters tuned to the specific colors of fluorescing sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Broad filters in the visible and near-infrared were used to capture the star colors.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Most Idiotic Rejection Of Course From Philosopher Of Science Not Grasping Relativity
- Lettuces Now, What Next - Could Astronauts Get All Their Oxygen And Food From Algae Or Plants?
- An Argument For Legalizing Doping In Sports
- Two Saturdays: Why A 4 Day Work Week Might Make Sense
- An Historical Moment For Diabetes
- Innate GMO Potato Deregulated By USDA
- College Students Know E-cigarettes Aren't Tobacco, Their Professors Are More Confused
- "The FDA can not approve needed drugs and approves un-needed drugs. One more argument that drug..."
- "Just adding a thought here. This is to do with the idea of adapting BIOS-3 and also crop growing..."
- "I'll take this with a grain for now..."
- "They even bought off the nongmo project and convinced cereal companies to add poison to get us..."
- "This originated as my answer to the Quora question: Why doesn't NASA have plants inside space..."
- Why girls are less interested in computer science: Classrooms are too 'geeky'
- Frogs make irrational choices - and what means for understanding animal mating
- Depression, blood pressure extremes predict highest rates of vascular events
- The Superhero craze may be over
- Where bread began: Ancient tools used to reconstruct (and eat) prehistoric cuisine