Monday, November 22, 2010

WISE image reveals strange specimen in starry sea: Dying star surrounded by fluorescing gas, unusual rings new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer shows what looks like a glowing jellyfish floating at the bottom of a dark, speckled sea. In reality, this critter belongs to the cosmos -- it's a dying star surrounded by fluorescing gas and two very unusual rings.

"I am reminded of the jellyfish exhibition at the Monterey Bay Aquarium -- beautiful things floating in water, except this one is in space," said Edward (Ned) Wright, the principal investigator of the WISE mission at UCLA, and a co-author of a paper on the findings, reported in The Astronomical Journal.

The object, known as NGC 1514 and sometimes the "Crystal Ball" nebula, belongs to a class of objects called planetary nebulae, which form when dying stars toss off their outer layers of material. Ultraviolet light from a central star, or in this case a pair of stars, causes the gas to fluoresce with colorful light. The result is often beautiful -- these objects have been referred to as the butterflies of space.

NGC 1514 was discovered in 1790 by Sir William Herschel, who noted that its "shining fluid" meant that it could not be a faint cluster of stars, as originally suspected. Herschel had previously coined the term planetary nebulae to describe similar objects with circular, planet-like shapes.

via WISE image reveals strange specimen in starry sea: Dying star surrounded by fluorescing gas, unusual rings.


Sepp said...

"The view on the left is from a ground-based, visible-light telescope; the view on the right shows the object in infrared light, as seen by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE."

Interesting image. The infrared one shows a pretty good representation of what seems to be the outline of a closed-in-on-itself vortex of roughly apple shape. The axis is aligned roughly in 11o-clock/5o-clock directions and the outline of heat energy shows the shape of the torus very well.

Kind of confirms my idea that ALL heavenly bodies are formed by vortex action and are essentially hollow toroids.

Xeno said...

Yes, some interesting reading in connection with UFOs.