Advertisements

This Nebula Really Stinks!

The Calabash Nebula, located 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Puppis. Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the Calabash Nebula, the cosmic death throes of a low-mass star like our Sun. Caught during the astronomically brief phase between a red giant and a planetary nebula, the star is ejecting much of its mass out into space at velocities of over 620,000 mph.

So why does it “stink?” The bright yellow jets are known to contain a lot of sulphur compounds, so if the image were a scratch ‘n’ sniff sticker it would smell like rotten eggs (hence its nickname, Rotten Egg Nebula.)

This spectacular display won’t last long; with its eruption begun in earnest about 800 years ago, in another 1,000 years this will resemble a more typical planetary nebula. In fact, given that this object is 5,000 light-years away, it’s technically already done with its sulfurous outburst! We’re just now seeing the light from the event as it arrives at Earth.

Read more in the NASA release: Hubble Captures Brilliant Star Death in “Rotten Egg” Nebula

Advertisements

About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on February 3, 2017, in Deep Space Objects and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

Have an opinion about this? Leave a comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: