Buy the Hubble Eskimo Nebula space photo.
High quality Hubble picture, slide, or Duratrans backlit transparency. NASA photograph H2000-07
. Wide variety of sizes.
Click to see selection as Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) - May 3, 2009
In its first glimpse of the heavens following the successful
December 1999 servicing mission, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
has captured a majestic view of a planetary nebula, the glowing
remains of a dying, Sun-like star. This stellar relic, first spied
by William Herschel in 1787, is nicknamed the "Eskimo" Nebula
(NGC 2392) because, when viewed through ground-based telescopes,
it resembles a face surrounded by a fur parka. In this Hubble
telescope image, the "parka" is really a disk of material
embellished with a ring of comet-shaped objects, with their tails
streaming away from the central, dying star. The Eskimo's "face"
also contains some fascinating details. Although this bright
central region resembles a ball of twine, it is, in reality, a
bubble of material being blown into space by the central star's
intense "wind" of high-speed material.
The planetary nebula began forming about 10,000 years ago, when
the dying star began flinging material into space. The nebula is
composed of two elliptically shaped lobes of matter streaming above
and below the dying star. In this photo, one bubble lies in front
of the other, obscuring part of the second lobe.
Scientists believe that a ring of dense material around the star's
equator, ejected during its red giant phase, created the nebula's
shape. This dense waist of material is plodding along at 72,000 miles
per hour (115,000 kilometers per hour), preventing high-velocity
stellar winds from pushing matter along the equator. Instead, the
900,000-mile-per-hour (1.5-million-kilometer-per-hour) winds are
sweeping the material above and below the star, creating the
elongated bubbles. The bubbles are not smooth like balloons but have
filaments of denser matter. Each bubble is about 1 light-year long
and about half a light-year wide. Scientists are still puzzled about
the origin of the comet-shaped features in the "parka." One possible
explanation is that these objects formed from a collision of slow-
and fast-moving gases.
The Eskimo Nebula is about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the
constellation Gemini. The picture was taken Jan. 10 and 11, 2000,
with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The nebula's glowing
gases produce the colors in this image: nitrogen (red), hydrogen
(green), oxygen (blue), and helium (violet).
January 24, 2000
Credits: NASA, ESA, Andrew Fruchter (STScI), and the ERO team (STScI)