Astronomy: the dazzling "cosmic necklace" observed by the Hubble telescope

 This new image uses advanced processing techniques to create a fresh and enhanced view of this intriguing object.

 


The interaction of two doomed stars created this spectacular ring of brilliant gas clusters : a diamond necklace of cosmic proportions captured by the Hubble telescope.

Appropriately known as the "Necklace Nebula , " this planetary nebula lies 15,000 light-years distant from Earth in the tiny, faint constellation Sagitta (the Arrow). 


A pair of closely orbiting sun-like stars produced the Necklace Nebula, which also goes by the less glamorous name PN G054.203.4. About 10,000 years ago, one of the aging stars expanded and engulfed its smaller companion , creating what astronomers call a "common envelope." The smaller star continued to orbit within its larger companion, increasing the swollen giant's rotational speed until much of it spun into space. This escaping ring of debris formed the Necklace Nebula, with particularly dense gas clusters that form the brilliant "diamonds" around the ring , NASA reported.

The Hubble telescope captured images of the main astronomical discoveries of recent years
The Hubble telescope captured images of the main astronomical discoveries of recent yearsPOT

The pair of stars that created the Necklace Nebula stay so close together, only several million miles apart , that they appear as a single bright point in the center of this image. Despite their close encounter, the stars still furiously revolve around each other, completing an orbit in just over a day.

Hubble previously captured an image of the Collar Nebula, but this new image uses advanced processing techniques to create a fresh, improved view of this intriguing object . The composite image includes several exposures from Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.



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