While we wait to listen to updates in regards to the Hubble Space Telescope, which is at the moment in protected mode and never amassing science knowledge whereas an issue is investigated, we will nonetheless benefit from the lovely pictures captured by the telescope previously. One such picture, not too long ago launched by NASA, exhibits a hanging blue planetary nebula positioned within the constellation of Eridanus.

The picture exhibits the planetary nebula NGC 1535, also called Cleopatra’s Eye. Somewhat confusingly, planetary nebulae don’t have anything to do with planets — they’re in reality shells of scorching gasoline which is given off by purple big stars within the late phases of their lives. When they have been first noticed, nevertheless, early astronomers thought that these nebulae have been planet-like due to their spherical shapes, therefore their identify.

Cleopatra’s Eye, or NGC 1535, is a planetary nebula within the constellation Eridanus. This nebula has an uncommon construction that’s much like the better-known NGC 2392, with an outer area and a brighter inside middle. NASA, ESA, and H. Bond and R. Ciardullo (Pennsylvania State University), et. al.; Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

This specific nebula is much like a extra well-known planetary nebula, the Lion Nebula or NGC 2392, as each have an uncommon double shell. There are two layers of gasoline inside every of those nebulae, forming each an inside shell and an outer shell. In the case of Cleopatra’s Eye, the picture exhibits each an older outer area of gasoline and a brighter inside middle.

As nicely as being intriguing to take a look at, learning this nebula might assist astronomers be taught extra in regards to the relationship between stars. Current analysis means that the star on the coronary heart of this nebula could possibly be certainly one of a pair, forming half of a binary star system that consists of two stars orbiting one another.

“Hubble observed this nebula as part of a study of over 100 planetary nebulae with nearby stars,” the Hubble scientists write. “The proximity of the stars indicated a possible gravitational connection between the nearby stars and the central stars of the nebulae. Observations of the distance between NGC 1535’s central star and its possible companion suggest that Cleopatra’s Eye is indeed part of a gravitationally bound binary star system.”

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