Little Gem Nebula shows off complex, knotty filament structures with a bright, enclosed central gas bubble surrounded by larger, more diffuse gas clouds
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
Space news (August 15, 2015) – approximately 6,000 light-years toward the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) –
When NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope first looked at the Little Gem Nebula (NGC 6818) using the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 back in 1997, the image obtained was done so with filters that highlighted ionized oxygen and hydrogen in the planetary nebula.
This image of the Little Gem Nebula shows off complex structures with a bright, enclosed central gas bubble surrounded by larger, more diffuse gas clouds obtained using different filters. Offering the human journey to the beginning of space and time a totally different view of this spectacular stellar object.
Our own Sun billions of years in the future will shed its outer layers into space to create a glowing cloud of gas similar to planetary nebula NGC 6818. Space scientists believe the stellar wind created by the star at the center of this planetary nebula provides the force to propel the uneven outflowing mass.
Studying the final days of sun-like stars provides scientists with data concerning the life cycle of stars similar in size and output to the Sun. Data they can use to devise new ideas and theories to delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding the closest star to Earth.
You can find more information on planetary nebula here.
Learn more about NASA’s space mission here.
You can learn more about the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope here.
Learn more about main sequence stars like the Sun.