Hubble Telescope Captures Cosmic Butterfly
The Hubble Space Telescope captured this beautiful image of the Twin Jet Nebula and its knots of expanding gas in amazing detail.
The nebula, also called PN M2-9, is a planetary nebula located about 2,100 light-years away from Earth that was discovered by Rudolph Minkowski in 1947.
The two stars in this nebula each have around the same mass as our own Sun, ranging from 0.6 to 1.0 solar masses for the smaller star, and from 1.0 to 1.4 solar masses for its larger companion.
The larger star is fast approaching the end of its life and has already ejected its outer layers of gas, whereas its partner is already a small white dwarf. The two blue patches traveling outward from the star system are fast jets of gas traveling at speeds greater than one kilometers per hour.