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Hubble Advent Calendar

Hubble Advent

This is day 21 of Hubble's Advent Calendar.

"Planetary nebula NGC 6302, better known as the Butterfly Nebula, is made up of roiling (to render turbid by stirring up sediment) cauldrons of gas heated to nearly 20,000 degrees Celsius. The gas is tearing across space at more than 950 000 kilometers per hour - fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes. A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the center of this fury. It has ejected its envelope of gases and is now unleashing a stream of ultraviolet radiation that is making the cast-off material glow. Roughly 3,800 light-years distant, the central star itself cannot be seen, because it is hidden within a doughnut-shaped ring of dust, which appears as a dark band pinching the nebula in the center. (NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team) "


Absolutely wonderful! Thank you!
Thank you for posting this. In the midst of all the craziness around the holidays, it's a wonderful reminder of how great our universe is, no matter who or what you believe created it. Breathtaking, which is as it should be.
That is beautiful, thank you for sharing
Stunning! Thank you!
How beautiful!
How very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Everything and anything to do with space fascinates me.
How beautiful!
Oh. Oh my.
Who says science isn't beautiful!