2021年03月26日

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The Medusa Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright:
Josep Drudis

Explanation: Braided and serpentine filaments of glowing gas suggest this nebula’s popular name, The Medusa Nebula. Also known as Abell 21, this Medusa is an old planetary nebula some 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Gemini. Like its mythological namesake, the nebula is associated with a dramatic transformation. The planetary nebula phase represents a final stage in the evolution of low mass stars like the sun as they transform themselves from red giants to hot white dwarf stars and in the process shrug off their outer layers. Ultraviolet radiation from the hot star powers the nebular glow. The Medusa’s transforming star is the faint one near the center of the overall bright crescent shape. In this deep telescopic view, fainter filaments clearly extend above and right of the bright crescent region. The Medusa Nebula is estimated to be over 4 light-years across.

Tomorrow’s picture: light weekend


蛇妖星云
影像提供与版权:
Josep Drudis

说明: 长蛇状的纠结辉光气,为这团星云带来蛇妖星云的称号。亦名为Abell 21的蛇妖星云,是一个1,500光年远、位在双子座南缘的高龄行星状星云。就如同名的神话人物一样,这团星云也经历过剧烈的变形。行星状星云太阳这类小质量恒星演化的最后阶段,它们由红巨星变成白矮星的过程中,会抛出外层气壳。而炽热中心星的紫外辐射,则会驱动星云发出辉光。在这幅望远镜深空影像里,中心附近的亮星是一颗无关的前景恒星,而蛇妖星云历经剧变的中心星,其实是位在眉月亮区中心附近的那颗较暗恒星。蛇妖星云的宽度超过4光年。 (Medusa Nebula 蛇妖星云、美杜莎星云)

明日的图片: light weekend

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