The latest view provides remarkable details of Twin Jet Nebula and the gas streaming from it and the two lobes stretching outwards from the star system
NASA/ESA captured a new, rare image of cosmic butterfly though Hubble Space Telescope. It looks like a butterfly unfolding its wings but actually it’s the expanding, glowing shells of gas which are indicating that an old star is dying. The gas is ejecting from the star system at a speed of one million kilometres per hour.
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The cosmic butterfly is not new born. It has been discovered by a German-American astronomer Rudolph Minkowski in 1947 and has given many names over the years such as Galactic Butterfly, Twin Jet Nebula and PN M2-9. The M here refers to Minkowski, the discoverer while PN refers to the fact that it is a planetary nebula.
Ordinary planetary nebulae have one central star. The Twin Jet Nebula is a bipolar nebula and has two stars and has two stars in it. These two stars found in the pair have the same mass as the sun, ranging from 0.6 to 1.0 solar masses for the smaller star and from 1.0 to 1.4 solar masses for its larger companion. The larger star is emitting gas which means it is nearing to the end of its life while its partner is still evolving and it is a small white dwarf.
The picture shows amazing details of Twin Jet Nebula and it's knot of expanding gas. The butterfly like wings of Twin Jet Nebula are supposed to be created with the motion of the two central stars around each other. When white dwarf orbits its partner, the gas from the dying star pulls into two lobes of material which are clearly visible in the image. Blue patches spotted in the image resemble the two jets streaming out into space.
Scientists have calculated that the outer shell of Twin Jet Nebula was created around 1,200 years ago. The previous picture of nebula was released in December 1997 and it was equally spectacular as new one.
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Source: Europeon Space Agency (ESA)