Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)Explanation:
It’s the dim star, not the bright one, near the center of NGC 3132
that created this odd but beautiful planetary nebula. Nicknamed the Eight-Burst Nebula and the Southern Ring Nebula, the glowing gas originated in the outer layers of a star like our Sun. In this representative color picture, the hot blue pool of light seen surrounding this binary system is energized by the hot surface of the faint star. Although photographed to explore unusual symmetries, it’s the asymmetries that help make this planetary nebula so intriguing. Neither the unusual shape of the surrounding cooler shell nor the structure and placements of the cool filamentary dust lanes running across NGC 3132
are well understood.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage TeamExplanation:
Globular star cluster 47 Tucanae is a jewel box of the southern sky. Also
known as NGC 104, it roams
of our Milky Way Galaxy along with over 150 other
globular star clusters. The second brightest globular cluster (after
Omega Centauri) as seen from planet Earth, 47 Tuc lies about 17,000 light-years away and can be spotted naked-eye
Small Magellanic Cloud
in the constellation of
the Toucan. The dense cluster is made up of hundreds of thousands of
only about 120 light-years across.
have shown that 47 Tuc
‘s white dwarf stars are in the process of being
to the outer parts of the cluster due to their relatively low mass. Other colorful low mass stars including yellowish
red giant stars
are easy to pick out on the outskirts of the cluster in this recently released
sharp telescopic portrait
by the Hubble Space Telescope
Located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, the young cluster and starforming region Westerlund 2 fills this cosmic scene. Captured with Hubble’s cameras in near-infrared and visible light, the stunning image is a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope on April 24, 1990. The cluster’s dense concentration of luminous, massive stars is about 10 light-years across. Strong winds and radiation from those massive young stars have sculpted and shaped the region’s gas and dust, into starforming pillars that point back to the central cluster. Red dots surrounding the bright stars are the cluster’s faint newborn stars, still within their natal gas and dust cocoons. But brighter blue stars scattered around are likely not in the Westerlund 2 cluster and instead lie in the foreground of the Hubble anniversary field of view.