NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope took a beautiful, clear picture of the so-called red rectangle nebula in a unicorn constellation.
The Red Rectangle Nebula, named after its unique boxy shape, is located 2,300 light years from Earth in the Monoceros constellation, and astronomers first observed it during a missile flight in the 1970s.
NASA has now revealed incredible details of the structure of the red rectangle with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope, where it features grading-like features.
NASA indicates that the nebula is caused by a dying star as shown in the picture, and the bursting of the dying star created this distinctive shape of the big nebula thanks to the gas cloud that the star bombs.
“Hubble’s clear picture shows that the red rectangle is not really rectangular, but has a general X-shaped structure, which astronomers interpret as originating from the gas and dust flows coming out of the star in the center,” NASA said.
ESA / Hubble and NASA
She continued: “The outflows from the star are ejected in opposite directions, which results in a shape like two cones of ice cream coming in contact with their ends.”
“It is also striking that straight features appear as steps on a ladder, which makes the red rectangle look similar to the spider web, a shape unlike any other known nebula in the sky.”
The nebula is officially known as HD 44179 and its nickname was coined in 1973 by astronomer Martin Cohen and Mike Merrill.
It is believed that the star at the center of the nebula once looked like our sun. But he is nearing the end of his life and throwing layers of stellar material into space.
According to NASA, the star like the red rectangle star is likely to end up as soon as it reaches the end of its life, which is expected to occur within a few billion years from now.
The nebula star probably began disposing of it about 14,000 years ago. Within a few thousand years, the star would shrink and become hotter, resulting in massive amounts of ultraviolet radiation.
The radiation will flood the surrounding nebula and give it a fluorescent property. The result of this process is something that astronomers refer to as the planetary nebula.
NASA said: “At the present time, the star is still so cold that the atoms in the surrounding gas do not glow, and the surrounding dust particles can only be seen because they reflect the star’s light from the center. In addition, there are particles mixed with dust, which are emitted by Light in the red part of the spectrum. ”
And NASA continued her explanation: “Astronomers are not yet sure of the types of molecules that produce the striking red color in the red rectangle, but they suspect that they are hydrocarbons formed in the cold flow from the central star.”
Thanks to the power of the Hubble telescope, astronomers were able to discover a dark band across the central star. This strip is the shadow cast by a thick disc of dust surrounding the dying star.
The star itself cannot be seen directly due to this dirt barrier. Alternatively, astronomers can see the flow of light vertically from the star.
Light can then be seen when dust scatters us. “Astronomers have found that the star in the center is actually a pair of stars that have been orbiting each other for about 10 and a half months. And interactions between these stars may have thrown out the thick dust disk that obscures our view of the duo,” NASA said.