Astonishing! Butterfly Nebula got WINGS! NASA reveals secret | Tech News

Astonishing! Butterfly Nebula got WINGS! NASA reveals secret

The new study by NASA revealed the secret behind the Butterfly Nebula wings. Notably, most nebulae have circular shapes, but this one is different.

| Updated on: Jan 17 2023, 00:15 IST
STUNNING image of Tarantula Nebula captured by THIS reveolutionary telescope
Butterfly Nebula
1/5 The stunning image was captured by scientists using the data collected via the revolutionary Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope located in the Antofagasta Region of the Atacama Desert in Chile. (REUTERS)
Butterfly Nebula
2/5 The Tarantula Nebula is present at the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way system and has given birth to more than 800,000 stars, some of them nearly 150 times the size of the Sun. This makes the Tarantula Nebula one of the prime observation destinations for researchers and science buffs alike. (NASA)
Butterfly Nebula
3/5 "What makes 30 Doradus unique is that it is close enough for us to study in detail how stars are forming, and yet its properties are similar to those found in very distant galaxies when the Universe was young,” said European Space Agency (ESA) scientist Guido De Marchi. "Thanks to 30 Doradus, we can study how stars used to form 10 billion years ago, when most stars were born." He added further. (NASA/Hubble)
Butterfly Nebula
4/5 The 30 Doradus is also called the Tarantula Nebula because of its glowing filaments which resemble spider legs, according to NASA. The Nebula is special as it can be seen in the Southern sky with the naked eye. It resembles a large milky patch of stars when viewed from Earth. (NASA/ESA)
Butterfly Nebula
5/5 The findings of the observation state that gravity is still responsible for the formation of the milky way galaxy and it is still shaping up the galaxy, which has aided in the continuous formation of stars. Tony Wong, a professor from the Astronomy Department at the University of Illinois said, "Our results imply that even in the presence of very strong feedback, gravity can exert a strong influence and lead to a continuation of star formation.” (NASA)
Butterfly Nebula
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The secret behind Butterfly Nebula's wings has been revealed by the latest study. (NASA)

NASA has shocked and awed the public with astonishing images take of objects found in deep space. Whether these images were of stars, planets, Sun, galaxies, asteroids, comets and other celestial objects, they have been simply breathtaking. Now, NASA has shared an astonishing image of a unique Nebula known as NGC 6302, which looks like the wings of a Butterfly. Yes, you read that right. Most of the nebulae have a roughly circular shape, but only a few have an hourglass or wing-like shape which is known as a "Butterfly Nebula." But what gave this Butterfly Nebula wings? NASA reveals secret behind the awesome phenomenon.

How Butterfly Nebula got its wings

Significantly, the wings are formed by the gravitational tug of a second star orbiting the nebula's "parent" star, it allows the material to expand into a pair of wings, Science Daily reported. Over a period of time, these wings grow without changing their original shape. However, a team led by astronomers at the University of Washington compared two images by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 2009 and 2020, which showed dramatic changes in the wings of the Nebula.

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The study revealed that "roughly half a dozen "jets" -- beginning about 2,300 years ago and ending 900 years ago -- pushing material out in a series of asymmetrical outflows." It further says that the material is moving rapidly in the outer portion of the Nebula at a fiery speed of 500 miles per second. On the other hand, material closer to the center of the star is moving at a much slower rate, which is almost a tenth of that speed. The paths of the material cross one another to form a complex structure within the wings.

However, the study also says that the nebula's multi-polar and swiftly changing interior structure is complex to explain while using the current models of planetary nebulae formation and evolution. There are chances that the center of the Nebula could have merged with another companion star and exerted material from a nearby star to create a complex magnetic field and generate the jets.

This new study and other time-lapse analyses of planetary nebulae can help to understand how the materials for the star systems of tomorrow will take shape. Also, it will explain how the building blocks of our own oasis were produced and gathered billions of years ago,” the study mentioned.

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First Published Date: 17 Jan, 00:15 IST