The Hubble Space Telescope has recently revealed a couple of images, presenting a marvelous landscape of colors, light, and darkness. The amazing pictures portray a pair of recently discovered distant celestial bodies, whose origins are thought to be part of planetary nebulae.
But what are planetary nebulae, and what is special about them? In the end, the two celestial bodies are structured as a normal nebula. Therefore, they are made of dust and gas, which facilitates the perfect environment for stars to shine, offering a colorful panorama. What is even more interesting about these two nebulae is the fact that they bear a striking resemblance to planets, given their circular shape.
It is not the first time that the pair is immortalized. However, it is the first time that researchers have managed to provide such comprehensive detail into an image of the nebulae. One of them was named the Butterfly Nebula, while the other is the Jewel Bug Nebula. The newly released images were captured with the help of Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, allowing them to cover an impressive visual spectrum.
The leading author of this study, Joel Kastner, who is working for the Rochester Institute of Technology, has declared that Hubble has managed to provide the most comprehensive view of this complex, owing to its multi-wavelength lens. What is even more exciting is that nebulae are known for their rapidly changing status, since some of them can break up in a matter of only a couple of years.
If it were not for these comprehensive pictures, researchers could not have determined the ionized iron atoms in the composition of the Butterfly Nebula, showing that it was formed after energetic collisions between fast and slow winds occurred. In the meantime, the Jewel Bug Nebula has already started breaking apart, as suggested by its concentric circles.