Recently taken photos show an interstellar phenomenon waving its ethereal wings with amazing details. The spectacular display comes from a highly symmetrical gas nebula known as NGC 2899.
The image was taken as part of the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) space gemstone program for education and community service.
Looking deep into space through ESO’s very large telescope, astronomers enjoyed viewing a huge balloon of luminous gas, in an almost symmetrical shape resembling a butterfly, at a distance of 3,000 to 6,500 light-years from Earth.
Although the nebula was discovered by British astronomer John Herschel in 1835, no one has ever seen it in such a high resolution.
Also on rt.com
The wingspan of the butterfly reaches nearly 19 trillion kilometers, or two light years. It is also incredibly hot, as the hydrogen and oxygen that make up its body is heated to about 10,000 degrees Celsius (twice as hot as the Sun) thanks to two stars in its center, which are thought to be give a symmetrical look,
NGC 2899 can only be viewed from the Southern Hemisphere and only through a powerful telescope – aptly known as the Very Large Telescope – which is conveniently located in Chile.
Its four 8.2-meter-high telescopes have found multiple images of objects in deep space, such as the first known interstellar asteroid and light from a gravitational wave source.
If you like this story, share it with a friend!