APOD: MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass... (2023 Oct 03)

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APOD: MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass... (2023 Oct 03)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Oct 03, 2023 4:07 am

Image MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass Planetary Nebula

Explanation: Do you see the hourglass shape -- or does it see you? If you can picture it, the rings of MyCn 18 trace the outline of an hourglass -- although one with an unusual eye in its center. Either way, the sands of time are running out for the central star of this hourglass-shaped planetary nebula. With its nuclear fuel exhausted, this brief, spectacular, closing phase of a Sun-like star's life occurs as its outer layers are ejected - its core becoming a cooling, fading white dwarf. In 1995, astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to make a series of images of planetary nebulae, including the one featured here. Pictured, delicate rings of colorful glowing gas (nitrogen-red, hydrogen-green, and oxygen-blue) outline the tenuous walls of the hourglass. The unprecedented sharpness of the Hubble images has revealed surprising details of the nebula ejection process that are helping to resolve the outstanding mysteries of the complex shapes and symmetries of planetary nebulas like MyCn 18.

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Re: APOD: MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass... (2023 Oct 03)

Post by AVAO » Tue Oct 03, 2023 6:36 pm

APOD Robot wrote: Tue Oct 03, 2023 4:07 am Image MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass Planetary Nebula

Explanation: Do you see the hourglass shape -- or does it see you? If you can picture it, the rings of MyCn 18 trace the outline of an hourglass -- although one with an unusual eye in its center. Either way, the sands of time are running out for the central star of this hourglass-shaped planetary nebula. With its nuclear fuel exhausted, this brief, spectacular, closing phase of a Sun-like star's life occurs as its outer layers are ejected - its core becoming a cooling, fading white dwarf. In 1995, astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to make a series of images of planetary nebulae, including the one featured here. Pictured, delicate rings of colorful glowing gas (nitrogen-red, hydrogen-green, and oxygen-blue) outline the tenuous walls of the hourglass. The unprecedented sharpness of the Hubble images has revealed surprising details of the nebula ejection process that are helping to resolve the outstanding mysteries of the complex shapes and symmetries of planetary nebulas like MyCn 18.

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Exciting picture. I find it interesting that the central star is almost not visible at today's APOD.


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Re: APOD: MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass... (2023 Oct 03)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Oct 03, 2023 7:27 pm

AVAO wrote: Tue Oct 03, 2023 6:36 pm Exciting picture. I find it interesting that the central star is almost not visible at today's APOD.
Not unusual, of course, with narrowband images. The hot central star isn't putting out much energy in these tiny slices of the visible spectrum.
Chris

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Re: APOD: MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass... (2023 Oct 03)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Oct 03, 2023 8:54 pm

Hourglass_HubblePathak_1080.jpg
Beautiful: This Nebula is almost perfect in symmetry! 8-)
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Re: APOD: MyCn 18: The Engraved Hourglass... (2023 Oct 03)

Post by Fred the Cat » Tue Oct 03, 2023 9:56 pm

Seems to be an eye, staring back at us. Or some advanced civilization’s version of Webb.

If so, I’ll take two small ones please. Equipped with their version of glasses. :shock:
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