Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Medusa Nebula
Posted on 10/25/2012 3:46:19 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Braided, serpentine filaments of glowing gas suggest this nebula's popular name, The Medusa Nebula. Also known as Abell 21, this Medusa is an old planetary nebula some 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Gemini. Like its mythological namesake, the nebula is associated with a dramatic transformation. The planetary nebula phase represents a final stage in the evolution of low mass stars like the sun, as they transform themselves from red giants to hot white dwarf stars and in the process shrug off their outer layers. Ultraviolet radiation from the hot star powers the nebular glow. The Medusa's transforming star is near the center of the overall bright crescent shape. In this deep telescopic view, fainter filaments clearly extend below and to the left of the bright crescent region. The Medusa Nebula is estimated to be over 4 light-years across.
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Thanks, that sent me on a half hour tangent thru wikipedia relearning a lot of astronomy.
It’s that big, planet-eating bugle from Star Trek! Quick, drive a Chevy Volt into the center of it! That’s how you stop it! The Chevy Volt, a worthless car, but it saved the earth from an attack from a huge, salty snack food.
FYI and Catastrophism?
Thank you for the post and ping, Mr. Civilizations.
I can see Medusa in your thumbnail, but the closeup of the nebula doesn’t show her face. Good thing, too. I’d hate to turn to stone.
Medusa isn’t a big favorite, [everyone starts to brace themselves] I’ve always preferred Osteopathusa, or even Chiropradusa.
You left out Naturopathusa.
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