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Latest Planetary nebula Stories

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2008-03-10 16:40:00

Astronomers at the University of Rochester, home to one of the world's largest groups of planetary nebulae specialists, have announced that low-mass stars and possibly even super-Jupiter-sized planets may be responsible for creating some of the most breathtaking objects in the sky.The news is ironic because the name "planetary" nebula has always been a misnomer. When these objects were discovered 300 years ago, astronomers couldn't tell what they were and named them for their resemblance to...

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2008-03-04 09:20:23

Probing a glowing bubble of gas and dust encircling a dying star, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveals a wealth of previously unseen structures. The object, called NGC 2371, is a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a Sun-like star. The remnant star visible at the center of NGC 2371 is the super-hot core of the former red giant, now stripped of its outer layers. Its surface temperature is a scorching 240,000 degrees Fahrenheit. NGC 2371 lies about 4,300 light-years away in the...

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2007-12-04 09:45:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is providing strong evidence that white dwarfs, the burned out relics of stars, are given a "kick" when they form. The sharp vision of Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys uncovered the speedy white dwarfs in the ancient globular star cluster NGC 6397, a dense swarm of hundreds of thousands of stars. Before the stars burned-out as white dwarfs, they were among the most massive stars in NGC 6397. Because massive stars are thought to gather at a globular cluster's...

e7943de25bfa6ae9796a721b6c353a6b1
2007-09-27 08:51:36

A team of European astronomers has used ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer and its razor-sharp eyes to discover a reservoir of dust trapped in a disc that surrounds an elderly star. The discovery provides additional clues about the shaping of planetary nebulae. In the last phases of their life, stars such as our Sun evolve from a red giant which would engulf the orbit of Mars to a white dwarf, an object that is barely larger than the Earth. The transition is accomplished by the...

527c17c4bf5211c863b696548413ec3d1
2007-09-11 09:23:02

The colorful, intricate shapes in these NASA Hubble Space Telescope images reveal how the glowing gas ejected by dying Sun-like stars evolves dramatically over time. These gaseous clouds, called planetary nebulae, are created when stars in the last stages of life cast off their outer layers of material into space. Ultraviolet light from the remnant star makes the material glow. Planetary nebulae last for only 10,000 years, a fleeting episode in the 10-billion-year lifespan of Sun-like stars....

f2b1e7352d9aef8d7e2f4b67c89db5231
2007-08-15 14:30:00

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer has spotted an amazingly long comet-like tail behind a star streaking through space at supersonic speeds. The star, named Mira after the Latin word for "wonderful," has been a favorite of astronomers for about 400 years. It is a fast-moving, older star called a red giant that sheds massive amounts of surface material. The space-based Galaxy Evolution Explorer scanned the popular star during its ongoing survey of the entire sky in ultraviolet light....

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2007-02-13 13:10:00

A brand new image taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 shows the planetary nebula NGC 2440 - the chaotic structure of the demise of a star. This image, just taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the colourful "last hurrah" of a star like our Sun. The star is ending its life by casting off its outer layers of gas, which formed a cocoon around the star's remaining core. Ultraviolet light from the dying star makes the material glow. The burned-out star, called a white...

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2006-01-10 06:35:00

Washington, DC -- The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) is a challenging stargazing target for amateur astronomers. It is one of the closest planetary nebulas - a type of nebula formed from gas ejected by a dying sunlike star. Yet it is so large and spread out in the sky that it appears very dim in a telescope eyepiece. Long-exposure photographs unveil the true beauty of this celestial wonder. A new portrait of the Helix Nebula, created by the penetrating infrared gaze of NASA's Spitzer Space...

2005-09-09 18:35:00

Astronomers have glimpsed dusty debris around an essentially dead star where gravity and radiation should have long ago removed any sign of dust -- a discovery that may provide insights into our own solar system's eventual demise several billion years from now. The results are based on mid-infrared observations made with the Gemini 8-meter Frederick C. Gillett Telescope (Gemini North) on Hawaii's Mauna Kea. The Gemini observations reveal a surprisingly high abundance of dust orbiting an...

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2005-05-30 16:19:58

New York's Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Rochester to present results Two astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover a shell of superheated gas around a dying star in the Milky Way galaxy. Joel Kastner, professor of imaging science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Rodolpho Montez, a graduate student in physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, will present their results today at the American Astronomical Society meeting in...


Latest Planetary nebula Reference Libraries

6_d67b2db586c7facec8388b5df78e57912
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...

6_c65813e67f1bee99b0418c20e5cbbe582
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...

6_56b4148a38a885ae7fa748b6f76fe6032
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...

3_4496f97f2ab92587e01c89f4c01483582
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,...

3_9151cc52f19112df52e74a2b45c8ba082
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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