A picture of the youngest

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A picture of the youngest
A picture of the youngest

A picture of the youngest

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured images of the youngest known planetary nebula using various filters, showing the distribution of the elements. The images were taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 of the Stingray Nebula, the youngest planetary nebula. These celestial structures got their name because they used to look like planets in telescopes. They are now known to be stellar remnants.

In the image, the central star is surrounded by a green ring of gas. Its companion star is above and to the left of it. A thin trail of gas forms a bridge between the two.

Gas bubbles emanate from the green ring of gas to the bottom left and top right. Radiation from the central star accelerates matter so much that it can develop enough pressure to puncture holes in the bubbles through which the gas escapes.

The curved red line indicates gas being heated by the "shock" when the central star's solar wind hits the walls of the bubbles.

The different colors represent the elements nitrogen (red), oxygen (green) and hydrogen (blue).

The Stingray Nebula is located 18,000 light-years away in the constellation of Altar. It is around 130 times the size of our solar system.

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