APOD: M2-9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

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APOD: M2-9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:08 am

Image M2-9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula

Explanation: Are stars better appreciated for their art after they die? Actually, stars usually create their most artistic displays as they die. In the case of low-mass stars like our Sun and M2-9 pictured above, the stars transform themselves from normal stars to white dwarfs by casting off their outer gaseous envelopes. The expended gas frequently forms an impressive display called a planetary nebula that fades gradually over thousand of years. M2-9, a butterfly planetary nebula 2100 light-years away shown in representative colors, has wings that tell a strange but incomplete tale. In the center, two stars orbit inside a gaseous disk 10 times the orbit of Pluto. The expelled envelope of the dying star breaks out from the disk creating the bipolar appearance. Much remains unknown about the physical processes that cause planetary nebulae.

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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by ta152h0 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:10 am

caramba, I am speechless. The big pooobahs at APOD hit one out of the park. Time for an ice cold one to stop the vibrations
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by Beyond » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:21 am

Geckzilla posted it in the Observation Deck under submissions a few days ago. It looked so good, i thought it might make it to APOD sometime. Looks like now is the time. :yes:
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by owlice » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:39 am

Congratulations, geckzilla!!!
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by redpigskin » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:43 am

Beautifully symmetrical, dazzling. This is the part of astronomy that blows me away, the consistent inconsistencies.

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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by geckzilla » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:05 am

Like I said earlier in the xkcd IRC channel, this saves me the trouble of having to run around, putting it in people's faces and commanding them to look at the majesty of space. That's what I wanted to do when I found it in the archive. Couldn't seem to process it fast enough. :D
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by Czernoo » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:01 am

The degree of 'left/right' symetry is amazing ! So much so, I wonder if it's absolutely certain it's real, or could it be an unusual optical reflection effect of kinds? Is a physical process known that could produce almost perfect 'mirroring' such as seen here ? Different than, but in a sense comparable to, the gravitational 'mirage' effect ?

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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by SebastienP » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:42 am

If this wasn't symetric, it would imply that the whole star system would be pushed in the opposite direction, much like on a rocket. Also, the symetry seen here isn't unique. There are a lot of other butterfly nebulae. Another one is called Hourglass Nebulae, and depicts the same as the 'butterfly' ones. This last naming is more accurate as the 3D geometry of the butterfly nebulae really are shaped like an hourglass.
Hourglass Nebula:
http://goodfelloweb.com/nature/ideas/im ... nebula.jpg

I agree. This picture today is truly stunning. Had never seen it with so much details. It seems like the light of the stars in the center is shading a grazing light on the expelled enveloppes!
Image

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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by neufer » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:39 am

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
owlice wrote:
Congratulations, geckzilla!!!
Good catch :!:
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by Beyond » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:19 pm

Image
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by stephen63 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:02 pm

Congrats, Judy!

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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by LocalColor » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:19 pm

Stunning!

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What do the numbers in the name M2-9 refer to?

Post by nealmcb » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:09 pm

I'm puzzled by the name M2-9. It looks like a mislabeled Messier object at first. It doesn't seem that Minkowski discovered a whole catalog worth of objects, such that they would need a two-level naming scheme. The numbers are single digits, and don't seem to label the RA Dec or that sort of thing, though I haven't checked in other coordinate systems. So what's up?

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Re: What do the numbers in the name M2-9 refer to?

Post by geckzilla » Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:23 pm

nealmcb wrote:I'm puzzled by the name M2-9. It looks like a mislabeled Messier object at first. It doesn't seem that Minkowski discovered a whole catalog worth of objects, such that they would need a two-level naming scheme. The numbers are single digits, and don't seem to label the RA Dec or that sort of thing, though I haven't checked in other coordinate systems. So what's up?
He must have made his discoveries after the NGC was completed, a couple of which turned out to not be planetary nebulas. http://simbak.cfa.harvard.edu/simbad/si ... n&Radius=2
The NGC has been revised and had things added to it since then but Minkowski still gets to have his list of planetaries. Anyway, for any given object there is usually a whole bunch of identifiers for it.
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by MargaritaMc » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:30 pm

geckzilla wrote:Like I said earlier in the xkcd IRC channel, this saves me the trouble of having to run around, putting it in people's faces and commanding them to look at the majesty of space. That's what I wanted to do when I found it in the archive. Couldn't seem to process it fast enough. :D
Repeating what everyone has said - it is fantastically beautiful image and you have done such a very good job in processing it.
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by eigerzoom » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:36 pm

Is this proof of dark matter?
If you compare images of butterfly nebulae to that of high speed cameras capturing bullets underwater you see similar performance in display.
Watch this youtube, at about 6 minutes in you see a good explanation and back to back slomo shots.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp5gdUHFGIQ
So there is clearly a force acting on the ejected material of the nebula giving it form

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Not just another pretty face!

Post by neufer » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:14 pm

NOT_JUSTL.jpg
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:30 am

The Symmetry is amazing...not exact of course...but amazing...


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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by neufer » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:35 am

Boomer12k wrote:
The Symmetry is amazing...not exact of course...but amazing...
  • Including the diffraction spikes :!:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_Nebula_M2-9 wrote:
<<Minkowski 2-9, abbreviated M2-9 (and also known as Minkowski's Butterfly, the Wings of a Butterfly Nebula or just Butterfly Nebula, and Twin Jet Nebula) is a planetary nebula that was discovered by Rudolph Minkowski in 1947. It is located about 2,100 light-years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ophiuchus. This bipolar nebula takes the peculiar form of twin lobes of material that emanate from a central star. Astronomers have dubbed this object as the Twin Jet Nebula because of the polar jets believed to cause the shape of the lobes. Its form also resembles the wings of a butterfly. The nebula was imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope in the 1990s.

M2-9 represents the spectacular “last gasp” of a binary star system at the nebula's center. The primary component of this binary is the hot core of a star that reached the end of its main-sequence life cycle, ejected most of its outer layers and became a red giant, and is now contracting into a white dwarf. It is believed to have been a sun-like star early in its life. The second, smaller star of the binary orbits very closely and may even have been engulfed by the other's expanding stellar atmosphere with the resulting interaction creating the nebula. Astronomers theorize that the gravity of one star pulls some of the gas from the surface of the other and flings it into a thin, dense disk extending into space. Such a disk can successfully account for the jet-exhaust-like appearance of M2-9.

The nebula has inflated dramatically due to a fast stellar wind, blowing out into the surrounding disk and inflating the large, wispy hourglass-shaped wings perpendicular to the disk. These wings produce the butterfly appearance when seen in projection. The outer shell is estimated to be about 1,200 years old.>>
Last edited by neufer on Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:04 am

neufer wrote:
Boomer12k wrote:
The Symmetry is amazing...not exact of course...but amazing...
Including the diffraction spikes :!:
There are some curved elements near the diffraction spikes I have been wondering if they are some kind of similar anomalies or real structures in the nebula. I was looking through the list of optical anomalies for STIS but couldn't find anything resembling those. I've tried looking in other images of the nebula and I think they might be real but it's hard to discern and may just be wishful thinking.
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Re: APOD: M2 9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by neufer » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:00 am

geckzilla wrote:
neufer wrote:
Boomer12k wrote:
The Symmetry is amazing...not exact of course...but amazing...
Including the diffraction spikes :!:
There are some curved elements near the diffraction spikes I have been wondering if they are some kind of similar anomalies or real structures in the nebula. I was looking through the list of optical anomalies for STIS but couldn't find anything resembling those. I've tried looking in other images of the nebula and I think they might be real but it's hard to discern and may just be wishful thinking.
There's no indication of similar curved elements near the other bright set of diffraction spikes
so I would assume that they are real.
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Re: APOD: M2-9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by DavidLeodis » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:30 am

In the image description in Judy Schmidt's 'Geckzilla' website it mentions STIS/MIRVIS data. I have found that STIS is the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope but, despite lots of searching, I have not been able to find what MIRVIS stands for. It is not even defined in the Hubble Legacy Archive glossary section! I guess the IRVIS part may be InfraRed VISual.

It's probable that my searching is poor, but I have tried (wow have I tried!) and have now given up! I would be grateful if someone could please let me know what MIRVIS stands for.

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You look MIRVIS!

Post by neufer » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:01 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
DavidLeodis wrote:
In the image description in Judy Schmidt's 'Geckzilla' website it mentions STIS/MIRVIS data. I have found that STIS is the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope but, despite lots of searching, I have not been able to find what MIRVIS stands for. It is not even defined in the Hubble Legacy Archive glossary section! I guess the IRVIS part may be InfraRed VISual.

It's probable that my searching is poor, but I have tried (wow have I tried!) and have now given up! I would be grateful if someone could please let me know what MIRVIS stands for.
  • It's a mystery :!:
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Re: APOD: M2-9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:08 pm

I also tried and could find no answer. I suppose I should mail STSci about it.
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Roland

Re: APOD: M2-9: Wings of a Butterfly Nebula (2013 Sep 15)

Post by Roland » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:00 pm

What is the period of revolution for the stars in the center of the disk?