Universe

Egg Nebula Nebulae of our galaxy

Egg Nebula Nebulae of our galaxy

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, provides amazing shows. The Egg Nebula offers astronomers an unforgettable perspective of the dust shell that blurs the vision of a veteran star. These black shells reach a distance of one tenth of a light-year from the central star, configuring a structure like onion layers that form concentric rings. Twin luminous rays radiate from the hidden star and illuminate the dust of apparent pitch, like a wavy pond illuminated by underwater lights.

The central star in CRL2688 was a red giant several hundred years ago and has begun a slow sunset, as occurs in all solar-type stars. The nebula is really a huge cloud of dust and gas, ejected by the star at a speed of 20 km / s. A thick vertical dust belt blocks the starlight; The light filters easily at those points where it is covered is thinner, and is reflected by dust particles towards us.

Objects such as CRL2688 are uncommon in the Milky Way because they are in a brief evolutionary phase that lasts about 1,000 or 2,000 years. However, they have the key to our understanding of how red giants become planetary nebulae. In this case, we are contemplating a 10,000-year history of mass ejection in a red giant. The surrounding dust arches show that the rhythm with which the star threw material into space has varied in time scales between 100 and 500 years. The artificial colors of the image allow us to carefully analyze the way in which light is reflected in dust particles as fine as smoke before taking our direction.

The Egg Nebula floats about 3,000 light-years to Cygnus, in the Milky Way. The image of singular beauty offered by the Hubble Space Telescope covers a space of one light-year. Its size is 86 arc seconds.

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