Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planetary Nebula Abell 36
Posted on 05/30/2014 6:49:55 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: The gorgeous, gaseous shroud of a dying sunlike star, planetary nebula Abell 36 lies a mere 800 light-years away in the constellation of Virgo. At that distance it spans over 1.5 light-years in this sharp telescopic view. Shrugging off its outer layers, the nebula's central star is contracting and becoming hotter, evolving towards a final white dwarf phase. In fact, in Abell 36, the central star is estimated to have a surface temperature of over 73,000 K, compared to the Sun's present 6,000 K temperature. As a result, the intensely hot star is much brighter in ultraviolet light, compared to its visual appearance here. The invisible ultraviolet light ionizes hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the nebula and ultimately powers the beautiful visible light glow.
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[Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, Univ. Arizona]
Is this named after George Abell?
Sometimes, I look at a photo like this and I think about 800 light years and it reminds me how small I am in this universe and then I remember that Jay Carney is even smaller and I feel better.
It’s interesting to note that Obama had a Carney to bark for him.
Thanks for that! Just breath taking!
That’s just plain gorgeous. Thank you for this and all the APODs, Mr. Civilizations.
My pleasure, I’m also glad they’ve been giving us nebulas lately.
Nebulae are indeed beautiful, colorful, and delightful to see.