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This Hubble photograph shows a star in the throes of death. The pink bulges in the foreground and background are jets moving away from the central star at higher speed than the rest of the matter. The star ejected all of this in the recent past, and this nebula will only glow for a few thousand more years. The initial explosion heated the gas to hundreds of millions of degrees, and continued heavy radiation keeps it extremely hot. However, as time passes and the sun cools, the gas loses heat, growing darker as the nebula expands into the dark of interstellar space.

Click the image to see the story.

One of the exciting things scientists discovered about this nebula is that those pink knots are rotating as they rocket away. This suggests that there might be a second star orbiting the one that exploded, its gravity affecting the gas around it.

Best,
Chris

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
clevermanka
Apr. 3rd, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
A dying star has the blues. =(
jjschwabach
Apr. 3rd, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
Dying star, or the Eye of Sauron in inverse?
mckitterick
Apr. 3rd, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Aha!
jjschwabach
Apr. 4th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
btw, this avatar is way creepy. today at work, I passed a large portrait of Dick Cheney. I actually flinched. It was not dissimilar to my interpretation of the above image.
Needless to say, I took off the Ring at once.
mckitterick
Apr. 4th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
He's interesting in that he doesn't even try to appear not-evil.
jjschwabach
Apr. 4th, 2008 10:26 pm (UTC)
Yes. Even his laugh is a trademark villain laugh. He'd probably love to sit and stroke a cat with a diamond collar, only no cat will go near him. On account they can sense True Evil.
queenoftheskies
Apr. 4th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
That's so lovely!
sf_reader
Apr. 4th, 2008 01:32 pm (UTC)
Porn in space...
mckitterick
Apr. 4th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
Heh. You're dirty. *g*
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )