A ten,000-year-old battle between two stars fashioned the Necklace Nebula

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The interaction of two doomed stars has created this spectacular ring adorned with bright clumps of gas ­– a diamond necklace of cosmic proportions. Fittingly known as the “Necklace Nebula,” this planetary nebula is located 15,000 light-years away from Earth in the small, dim constellation of Sagitta (the Arrow).
The interplay of two doomed stars has created this spectacular ring adorned with brilliant clumps of fuel ­– a diamond necklace of cosmic proportions. Fittingly often called the “Necklace Nebula,” this planetary nebula is situated 15,000 light-years away from Earth within the small, dim constellation of Sagitta (the Arrow). ESA/Hubble & NASA, Ok. Noll

Around 10,000 years in the past, two stars that had been orbited one another peacefully got here right into a sticky battle when the bigger of the 2 got here too near its companion and ballooned outward, engulfing the opposite. The ensuing mess of a bloated star spun so shortly that it threw off its outer layers, forming a bubble of fuel which expanded out into area, finally stretching over two light-years huge.

This dramatic occasion fashioned the attractive Necklace Nebula, also referred to as PN G054.2-03.4, situated 15,000 light-years away within the constellation Sagitta (the Arrow). This nebula was just lately captured by the Hubble Space Telescope within the picture proven above. The ring of fuel is dotted with clumps of fuel that shine brightly like jewellery, for which the nebula was given its identify. The fuel glows as it’s illuminated with ultraviolet mild produced by close by stars, giving the nebula its distinctive look.

Even after their dramatic battle, the 2 stars on the coronary heart of the nebula proceed to orbit one another carefully. They are only a few million miles aside and orbit one another in simply over a day. They are so shut collectively that they seem as a single dot within the picture.

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This is just not the primary time that Hubble has imaged this explicit nebula. It additionally captured the picture under in 2011, when the nebula had solely just lately been found. Hubble used its Wide Field Camera 3, put in in 2009, to take this picture.

A previous image of the Necklace Nebula, taken by Hubble in 2011.
A earlier picture of the Necklace Nebula, taken by Hubble in 2011. NASA , ESA , and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI /AURA )

Since 2011, Hubble’s {hardware} has remained largely the identical, however software program has improved, corresponding to picture processing expertise. This allowed the creation of a crisper picture of the goal which exhibits extra element than the model from 10 years prior. The newest picture is a composite, together with photos taken by the identical Wide Field Camera 3.

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