The European Southern Observatory (ESO) shared a new image of the ‘space butterfly’ NGC 2899 celestial body taken by the Very Large Telescope (VLT). ESO said that this is the first time that the celestial body has been imaged in such detail, showing that the faint outer edge of the planetary nebula is shining in front of many background stars. Although NGC 2899 does not look so large in the image, the huge gas cluster extends from its centre for a maximum of two light-years.
According to reports, the temperature of these luminescent gases is close to 10,000 degrees. The temperature in the nebula is so high because the high radiation from the nebula star causes the hydrogen to glow, and the blush around the oxygen is blue. NGC 2899 is a nebula far away from the Earth, located in the southern part of the constellation ‘Vera’ between 3000 and 6500 light-years.
It has two central stars, which are believed to give it a nearly symmetrical appearance. One of the stars has reached the end of life and throws its outer layer, while the other star interferes with the flow of gas, forming the double-lobed shape seen in the picture.
Researchers say that only 10% to 20% of planetary nebulae have this bipolar shape.
Astronomers captured this image using the FORS instrument installed on UT1, which is one of the 48.2-meter telescopes that make up the VLT. That special instrument has taken many beautiful images, which have been shared by ESO. This image was produced as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems Project. The plan aims to use ESO telescopes to produce interesting, intriguing, and visually attractive images of objects for entertainment and public promotion. The butterfly-shaped image here is very beautiful.
Stunning Space Butterfly Captured by ESO Telescope
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