Latest Planetary nebula Stories

Planetary Nebulae Observed Releasing Water-Building Molecules
2014-06-17 11:19:05

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The region in space around a planetary nebula is filled with harsh radiation. Yet despite this hostile environment – the area is seeded with a molecule essential to the formation of water. According to two new studies -- "Herschel Planetary Nebula Survey" and "Herschel spectral mapping of the Helix nebula" -- based on observations from the European Space Agency’s Herschel Observatory, harsh radiation around a planetary nebula does...

Celestial Diamond Ring Created By Chance Meeting
2014-04-09 11:35:16

[ Watch The Video: Zooming In On The Planetary Nebula Abell 33 ] ESO Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured this eye-catching image of planetary nebula PN A66 33 — usually known as Abell 33. Created when an aging star blew off its outer layers, this beautiful blue bubble is, by chance, aligned with a foreground star, and bears an uncanny resemblance to a diamond engagement ring. This cosmic gem is unusually symmetric, appearing to be almost circular...

Monkey Head Nebula
2014-03-17 14:27:53

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope To celebrate its 24th year in orbit, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has released a beautiful new image of part of NGC 2174, also known as the Monkey Head Nebula. This colorful region is filled with young stars embedded within bright wisps of cosmic gas and dust. NGC 2174 lies about 6400 light-years away in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). Hubble previously viewed this part of the sky back in 2001, creating a stunning image released in 2011,...

Bipolar Jets Of Gas, Dust Created By Small Planetary Nebulae
2014-02-13 08:01:47

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Large stars can end their lives as violently cataclysmic supernovae. Small stars, in contrast, end up as planetary nebulae—colorful, glowing clouds of dust and gas. These nebulae were once thought to be mostly spherical. In the last few decades, however, they have been observed to often emit powerful, bipolar jets of gas and dust. Scientists are unsure how spherical stars evolve to produce highly aspherical planetary nebulae, however....

Spectacular Stellar Landscape Painted With Young Stars
2013-11-13 13:50:28

[ Watch The Video: Zooming in on the Star Cluster NGC 3572 ] ESO Astronomers at ESO have captured the best image so far of the curious clouds around the star cluster NGC 3572. This new image shows how these clouds of gas and dust have been sculpted into whimsical bubbles, arcs and the odd features known as elephant trunks by the stellar winds flowing from this gathering of hot young stars. The brightest of these cluster stars are much heavier than the Sun and will end their short...

Ghostly Trio Imaged Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope
2013-10-29 10:12:36

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory In the spirit of Halloween, scientists are releasing a trio of stellar ghosts caught in infrared light by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. All three spooky structures, called planetary nebulas, are in fact material ejected from dying stars. As death beckoned, the stars' wispy bits and pieces were blown into outer space. "Some might call the images haunting," said Joseph Hora of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass., principal...

Coldest Known Object In Space Reveals Its Ghostly Figure
2013-10-25 06:25:12

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The Boomerang Nebula, at a crisp one degree Kelvin (-458 degrees Fahrenheit), is the coldest known object in the Universe. In fact, the Boomerang Nebula is colder than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, which is the natural background temperature of space. To learn more about this intriguing object, a team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope to investigate its frigid properties and...

Shaping A Blooming Star
2013-09-27 10:36:32

[ Watch The Video: CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array ] John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Many objects in the Universe contain jets – intense magnetic fields twisted around their axes, ejecting plasma into the Cosmos. In general, however, these objects tend to be powerful, exotic entities such as black holes and neutron stars. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, forming stars – called proto-stars – can form such jet structures as well, but on...

Sharpest Ever Image Of Prawn Nebula Unveiled
2013-09-18 10:42:57

[ Watch the Video: Zooming In On The Prawn Nebula ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Paranal Observatory in Chile have taken the sharpest image ever of the Prawn Nebula. The stellar nursery, formally known as IC 4628, sits 6,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius. The new image shows clumps of hot new-born stars nestled among the clouds making up the...

Magnetic Jets Stars Final Transformation
2013-09-17 12:37:48

John P. Millis, PhD for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In general, main sequence stars die in one of two ways: high mass stars, those several times larger than our Sun, will explode in brilliant supernovae, leaving behind a shock remnant with a dense neutron star or black hole at its center. Lower mass stars like our Sun will transition into a planetary nebula. The outer envelope of the star is expressed into the interstellar medium, and the star’s gravity relinquishes its grip....

Latest Planetary nebula Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Star -- A star is a self-gravitating sphere of plasma in hydrostatic equilibrium that generates energy in its interior through the process of nuclear fusion. Energy from this process radiates into space as electromagnetic radiation and neutrinos. Star formation and evolution As learned by star formation astronomers, stars are born in molecular clouds, regions of higher density of matter, and form by gravitational instability inside those clouds. High mass stars illuminate powerfully...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planetary Nebula -- A planetary nebula is an astronomical object that usually appears nebulous and disk-like in low-resolution observations. Because of this appearance, similar to the appearance of planets in early observations, the "planetary" adjective was attached and has since been retained for historical consistency. According to current observations and models, planetary nebulae in fact have little to do with planets. Instead, as a small star (less than a few times the mass...

2004-10-19 04:45:42

Nebula -- in astronomy, observed manifestation of a collection of highly rarefied gas and dust in interstellar space. Prior to the 1960s this term was also applied to bodies later discovered to be galaxies, e.g., the so-called Great Nebula in the constellation Andromeda. In 1864, William Huggins confirmed William Herschel's conclusion that nebulae are not swarms of stars by determining that the spectra of nebulae are made of bright lines characteristic of radiating gases. Diffuse...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Saturn Nebula -- The layers of the Saturn Nebula give a complex picture of how this planetary nebula was created. The above picture, taken in April 1996 and released last week, allows a better understanding of the mysterious process that transformed a low-mass star into a white dwarf star. A computer model indicates that the central star of NGC 7009 first expelled the green gas that now appears barrel shaped. This green gas now confines stellar winds flowing from the central star,...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Ring Nebula -- Discovered by Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix in 1779. The famous ring nebula M57 is often regarded as the prototype of a planetary nebula, and a showpiece in the northern hemisphere summer sky. Recent research has confirmed that it is, most probably, actually a ring (torus) of bright light-emitting material surrounding its central star, and not a spherical (or ellipsoidal) shell, thus coinciding with an early assumption by John Herschel. Viewed from this equatorial...

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Word of the Day
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.