Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 5189: An Unusually Complex Planetary Nebula
Posted on 12/19/2012 3:46:15 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Why is this nebula so complex? When a star like our Sun is dying, it will cast off its outer layers, usually into a simple overall shape. Sometimes this shape is a sphere, sometimes a double lobe, and sometimes a ring or a helix. In the case of planetary nebula NGC 5189, however, no such simple structure has emerged. To help find out why, the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope recently observed NGC 5189 in great detail. Previous findings indicated the existence of multiple epochs of material outflow, including a recent one that created a bright but distorted torus running horizontally across image center. Results appear consistent with a hypothesis that the dying star is part of a binary star system with a precessing symmetry axis. Given this new data, though, research is sure to continue. NGC 5189 spans about three light years and lies about 3,000 light years away toward the southern constellation of the Fly (Musca).
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APOD Editors to Speak: RJN in Philadelphia on Jan. 3 & JTB in New York City on Jan. 4
...looks like an electric blue skull with a serpent or dragon wrapped around it...
It looks like a prehistoric, transparent shark. Very beautiful.
Thank you for the post and ping, Mr. Civilizations, you cutie you!
I hadn’t noticed that, but great observation, you’re absolute right, I am a cutie. ;’)
[’Civ applies ointment to his fingers after developing a burn from buffing his mirror-like nails on the front of his shirt]
I couldn’t agree more. You’re a damn fine lookin’ man. Here, let me help you with those friction burns... And get a softer shirt!
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