NASA / ESA / STSCI / B.BALICK, U.WASHINGTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / B.BALICK, U.WASHINGTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Planetary nebula. Hubble space telescope image of the M2-9 bipolar planetary nebula, with its 2 pro- minent gas jets. Neutral oxygen is red, singly- ionized nitrogen is green & doubly-ionized oxygen is blue. The jets occur because of a huge ring of gas (not seen here) around the 2 stars at the centre of M2-9. The ring channels gas ejected from the stars at over 320 kilometres per second like the nozzle of a jet engine. M2-9 lies 2100 light years away in the Opiuchus constellation and was formed by a stellar outburst which occurred about 1200 years ago. Image taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 on 2 August 1997.
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