I made the mistake of scrolling through my Twitter feed earlier. I saw the usual drama about a certain crazy person. I was about to go find a strong drink when I saw this amazing image of this butterfly nebula that I had to share.
The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects. Though its wingspan covers over 3 light-years, NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the dying central star of this particular planetary nebula has become exceptionally hot, shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This sharp close-up of the dying star’s nebula was recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope an
Who says science isn’t cool? Well, that crazy guy and his friends do but they don’t seem to have a handle on things anyway.
— Hubble (@NASA_Hubble) February 8, 2017
You can view the full resolution image of the Butterfly Nebula by clicking on this link. It is even more impressive up close.