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Butterfly nebula, HST image

Butterfly nebula, HST image

C011/1603

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Credit

NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Butterfly nebula, Hubble Space Telescope image. This is a bipolar planetary nebula, a glowing shell of gas cast off by a star near the end of its life. Red areas are nitrogen gas, the coolest gas visible here, white areas are sulphur. The star at the centre of this nebula was very large, with a mass of around 5 times that of the Sun. The butterfly nebula is located in the constellation Scorpius, approximately 3800 light years from Earth. Image taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 on 27th July 2009.

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