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He 2-47

He 2-47, is dubbed the “starfish” because of its shape. The six lobes of gas and dust, which resemble the legs of a starfish, suggest that He 2-47 puffed off material at least three times in three different directions. Each time, the star fired off a narrow pair of opposite jets of gas. He 2-47 is located in the direction of the Southern constellation Carina.


Journal article about the "starfish twins:":He 2-47 and M1-37 by R. Sahai (JPL) 2000 [PDF]

NGC 5315

This flower-shaped nebula has an unusually chaotic appearance. The outer regions show a roughly X-shaped structure, suggesting that there may have been two preferred axes for the ejection from the central star. A stellar wind from the central star appears to have cleared out a cavity in the center. Further out from the star, there is a wide range of excitation of the gas, ranging from the hot regions (blue) near the central star to the cooler surrounding shell (red). NGC 5315 is located in the direction of the Southern constellation Circinus.


IC 4593

Planetary nebula IC 4593 lies in the direction of the Northern constellation Hercules. It shows a prominent pair of jets on opposite sides of the central star, ending in bright red knots due to relatively cool nitrogen gas.

 

I Wof the four.

NGC 5307

Also located in the Southern hemisphere in the constellation Centaurus, NGC 5307 shows a symmetrical structure with a suggestion of a spiral pattern. The central star may have wobbled during the ejection process. Astronomers classify planetary nebulae like NGC 5307 as “point-symmetric,” meaning that for each blob of gas around the star there is another blob on the opposite side. The bluish-green color shows the overall high level of excitation of the gas in this nebula, which is probably the oldest of the four.


Poetry In Motion

(For the Astrophysicist)
Scintillation of a white dwarf,
Induces questions concerning its properties.
At zenith,
Comparable to the crystal of
tetrahedrally-bonded carbon atoms
in the celestial sphere.
Scintillation of a white dwarf,
Induces questions concerning its properties.


(For the 5-year old Child Starting Kindergarten Today)
Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.


Adapted from Original by Kari Reitan, 2007 STScI Summer Student

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