NGC 6302: Butterfly Nebula  

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Uploaded: 09/10/09 5:40 AM GMT
NGC 6302: Butterfly Nebula
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The Hubble Telescope is officially back in business and NASA has released several images demonstrating the new upgrades abilities. This celestial object looks like a delicate butterfly. But it is far from serene. What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to more than 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The gas is tearing across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour—fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes. A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the center of this fury. It has ejected its envelope of gases and is now unleashing a stream of ultraviolet radiation that is making the cast-off material glow.

This object is an example of a planetary nebula, so-named because many of them have a round appearance resembling that of a planet when viewed through a small telescope.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team


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09/10/09 10:01 AM GMT

Amazing colorations in there!! A far-out fractal from space!!
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Why do the pictures come out square when the lens is round??
09/11/09 8:01 PM GMT
My sentiments exactly...WOW!!! Thanks for sharing this incredible image.
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Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius
09/12/09 2:29 PM GMT
Nice colors, very imaginative. Beautiful photo.
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09/12/09 11:23 PM GMT
I'm a fan of space and you sure have a good image here. Kudos on this stunning space image. ♪ ♫ :)sandi♪ =^..^=
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Nature in all her glory is my uplift on life and so is my love of photography. sandi ♪ ♫
07/15/11 9:07 AM GMT
This is just unbelievable beautiful! Thanks for your constantly outstanding pictures.
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