Giant cosmic necklace glows brightly in this Hubble image

Devdiscourse News Desk | Paris | Updated: 19-03-2023 22:19 IST | Created: 19-03-2023 22:19 IST
Giant cosmic necklace glows brightly in this Hubble image
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

In this throwback picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of an ordinary Sun-like star, takes centre stage. Named Necklace Nebula, this cosmic object lies 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagitta (the Arrow).

Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 captured the glow of hydrogen (blue), oxygen (green), and nitrogen (red) in this nebula.

The nebula is made up of a luminous ring that spans 12 trillion miles and is adorned with clusters of compact and radiant gas pockets that resemble a string of diamonds. These clusters emit a brilliant glow due to absorbing ultraviolet (UV) light emanating from the central stars.

The Necklace Nebula, also known as PN G054.2-03.4, was formed by a pair of stars orbiting very close. These stars complete an orbit in a little more than a day.

According to MASA, about 10,000 years ago, one of the aging stars expanded and enveloped its companion, causing the larger one to spin rapidly and expel much of its gaseous envelope into space. Due to centrifugal force, a dense ring was formed along the star's equator, with the brightest knots being the densest gas clumps in the ring.

The Hubble Space Telescope, a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA, has been capturing and beaming back some of the most amazing pictures of the cosmos since its deployment in 1990. In addition to being breathtakingly beautiful, these images are of immense scientific value and have revolutionized our understanding of the universe.

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