HUBBLE AND NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HUBBLE AND NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nebula around star HD 44179, Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image. The star HD 44179 is surrounded by a structure known as the Red Rectangle because of its shape and its apparent colour when seen in early images from Earth. This detailed Hubble image reveals that the nebula is actually X-shaped with additional spaced lines of glowing gas. The star at the centre, similar to the Sun, is pumping out gas and other material to form the nebula's distinctive shape, probably due to precessing jets of material. This is an example of a proto-planetary nebula, an old star on the way to becoming a white dwarf that will cause the resulting planetary nebula to glow. This star is around 2300 light years distant in the constellation of Monoceros. Image obtained by the HST's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). Filters combine red light (red) from hydrogen, and orange-red light (blue). Image published in 2010.
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