APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:05 am

Image The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble

Explanation: The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth's night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This sharp close-up of the dying star's nebula was recorded in 2009 by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, and is presented here in reprocessed colors. Cutting across a bright cavity of ionized gas, the dust torus surrounding the central star is near the center of this view, almost edge-on to the line-of-sight. Molecular hydrogen has been detected in the hot star's dusty cosmic shroud. NGC 6302 lies about 4,000 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius).

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:26 am

Great shot, but to me it looks sort of angry.

Some stars as they age are like people; some of them get bipolar.
"Happy are the peaceable ... "

khh

Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by khh » Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:42 am

I have a question. Would it be possible for APOD to frame the daily picture with a black background (rather than white) when it is clicked? I think it would add to the viewing experience.

I've been a big fan of APOD since I first came across it in the late 1990s. Thanks for the work you do.

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by Ann » Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:50 am

What I find most interesting about today's APOD is the general similarity in shape between this planetary nebula and the nebula created by monster star Eta Carina.

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by starsurfer » Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:37 am

Ann wrote:What I find most interesting about today's APOD is the general similarity in shape between this planetary nebula and the nebula created by monster star Eta Carina.

Ann
Isn't that like comparing a regular onion to a red onion? :lol2: :P

Also isn't this usually called the Bug Nebula? I have to admit I prefer the original version, this one seems less magical.
BDanielMayfield wrote:Great shot, but to me it looks sort of angry.
Isn't red also the colour of passion? :ssmile:

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by bentsn » Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:07 am

There are many strange blue spots in the picture. Many of these blue spots are in close proximity just below star images. What are these blue spots?

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:31 pm

OOOOOO.....Pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MOTHRA..... :D

And it even has a Star for an Eye!!!!!

I take it, we are see this from the side....and not the "front"...which may look more like an "EYE"????

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:36 pm

bentsn wrote:There are many strange blue spots in the picture. Many of these blue spots are in close proximity just below star images. What are these blue spots?

These are CAMERA ARTIFACTS....my camera makes HEAT speckles...and these look like those...

Plus, it is a reprocessed photo....so, they may have been "brought out" in processing. Especially in areas of CONTRAST....I think...

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by Guest » Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:38 pm

BDanielMayfield wrote:Great shot, but to me it looks sort of angry.

Some stars as they age are like people;
"Get off of my gravitational field!"

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by Joules » Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:48 pm

So blue is the new white.

icman

Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by icman » Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:50 pm

When a picture is taken by Hubble of the Butterfly Nebula for example, are we seeing the beginning of the explosion, in the middle, or at the end?

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:09 pm

icman wrote:When a picture is taken by Hubble of the Butterfly Nebula for example, are we seeing the beginning of the explosion, in the middle, or at the end?
It depends on how you define "explosion". In this case, the energetic event is done, and all we're seeing is material moving by momentum alone. I'd say that means the explosion is essentially over. But others might define it differently.
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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:11 pm

Boomer12k wrote:
bentsn wrote:There are many strange blue spots in the picture. Many of these blue spots are in close proximity just below star images. What are these blue spots?

These are CAMERA ARTIFACTS....my camera makes HEAT speckles...and these look like those...

Plus, it is a reprocessed photo....so, they may have been "brought out" in processing. Especially in areas of CONTRAST....I think...

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They are not artifacts. Having worked with the datasets before, I know these particular Hubble data are very nice and clean and have very few artifacts. What has happened here is either the intentional or accidental misalignment of the blue channel. Red is ok. I think green is slightly misaligned but it's not obvious. And then blue is off by several pixels. Here is an animation which shows all three channels in grayscale which may help you understand.
channel_ani.gif
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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by bko » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:38 pm

Why is this nebula shaped like this? Was it punctured by something? Why are some explosions flat, some round, some shaped like dumb bells, and some are just a mess with no apparent shape? I expect the shape of the nebula has a lot to say about what it looked like before it exploded.

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:49 pm

bko wrote:Why is this nebula shaped like this? Was it punctured by something? Why are some explosions flat, some round, some shaped like dumb bells, and some are just a mess with no apparent shape? I expect the shape of the nebula has a lot to say about what it looked like before it exploded.
This one looks like an intermediate aged planetary nebula to me. Part of the problem is that we see them from all different angles and it makes it very hard to make comparisons. on top of that, every star seems to explode with its own unique style. Complex shapes have been attributed to orbiting companions. In general, though, the more organized ones which look like smooth bells or hourglasses are younger while the disorganized looking ones are older.
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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by Joules » Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:34 pm

geckzilla wrote:What has happened here is either the intentional or accidental misalignment of the blue channel. Red is ok. I think green is slightly misaligned but it's not obvious. And then blue is off by several pixels.
That nicely explains those swaths of blue where there should be something closer to white.

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by bactame » Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:50 am

Some of the links at the end of the commentary indicate that the displayed form is the circumstellar disk of the star. So the nebulosity is mostly molecular hydrogen in that disk. Normally that would mean planets, other companion stars...? Right?

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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:30 am

bactame wrote:Some of the links at the end of the commentary indicate that the displayed form is the circumstellar disk of the star. So the nebulosity is mostly molecular hydrogen in that disk. Normally that would mean planets, other companion stars...? Right?
As hydrogen is the most abundant element it's presence wouldn't imply the existence of other bodies in this system. But on the other hand the very existence of the star that ejected the nebula makes it quite likely that there were/are some planets in this system. I say this because planet formation seems to be a natural by-product of the star formation process.

This notion leads to the question, can stars form without a planetary system also forming in the mix?
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Re: APOD: The Butterfly Nebula from Hubble (2014 Oct 01)

Post by dlw » Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:52 pm

geckzilla wrote:
Boomer12k wrote:
bentsn wrote:There are many strange blue spots in the picture. Many of these blue spots are in close proximity just below star images. What are these blue spots?

These are CAMERA ARTIFACTS....my camera makes HEAT speckles...and these look like those...

Plus, it is a reprocessed photo....so, they may have been "brought out" in processing. Especially in areas of CONTRAST....I think...

:---[===] *
They are not artifacts. Having worked with the datasets before, I know these particular Hubble data are very nice and clean and have very few artifacts. What has happened here is either the intentional or accidental misalignment of the blue channel. Red is ok. I think green is slightly misaligned but it's not obvious. And then blue is off by several pixels. Here is an animation which shows all three channels in grayscale which may help you understand.
channel_ani.gif
I wondered about that too. Any chance we could get the full size image realigned properly? It's gorgeous!