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  • Bruce Davidson

    NASA - Hubble Sees a Celestial Swan and Butterfly, NGC7026

  • L. A.

    Hubble Sees a Celestial Swan and Butterfly This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows planetary nebula NGC 7026. Located just beyond the tip of the tail of the constellation of Cygnus (The Swan), this butterfly-shaped cloud of glowing gas and dust is the wreckage of a star similar to the sun.

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Ngc7026, Butterflies, Planetari Nebulas, Stars, Spaces Telescope, Tips, Nebulas Ngc, Ngc 7026, Hubble Spaces

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3/1/12: Hen 3-1333 represents a planetary nebula, the dying throes of a mid-sized star as its outer layers expand into large, irregular globes of gas. Its central star is thought to have a mass of around 60% that of the Sun, with variable brightness that might be caused by a disc of dust that appears almost edge-on from Earth. Astronomers class it as a Wolf-Rayet type star, as it is not large enough to count as a full Wolf-Rayet star.

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The Cosmic Butterfly Credit: NASA The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a new camera aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, snapped this image of the planetary nebula, catalogued as NGC 6302, but more popularly called the Bug Nebula or the Butterfly Nebula. WFC3 was installed by NASA astronauts in May 2009, during the servicing mission to upgrade and repair the then 19-year-old Hubble telescope.

The glowing eye of NGC 6751 in the constellation Aquila, the nebula is a cloud of gas ejected several thousand years ago from the hot star visible in its center. Credit: HST/NASA/ESA

The Mark of a Dying Star - Incredible Six hundred and fifty light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, a dead star about the size of Earth, is refusing to fade away peacefully. In death, it is spewing out massive amounts of hot gas and intense ultraviolet radiation, creating a spectacular object called a "planetary nebula."

See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

astronomy, outer space, space, universe, stars, nebulas

The Dumbbell Nebula (M27) was the first planetary nebula discovered, by Charles Messier in 1764.