Thursday, April 11, 2024

Zooming into The Dragon's Egg Nebula & HD 148937 Binary Star System | ESO

Zooming into The Dragon's Egg Nebula & HD 148937 Binary Star System | ESO 

This zoom video transports us from a broad view of the Milky Way in the sky all the way to the cloudy nebula NGC 6164/6165 (also known as the Dragon’s Egg), home to the fascinating star system HD 148937 right at its center. Using nine years’ of data from the European Southern Observatory’s’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer and other telescopes, astronomers have inferred that this pair of stars used to be a trio, until two fatally merged into one younger, magnetic star, releasing the stunning nebula you see in this video.

Distance: 4,000 light years

Nebula NGC 6164/6165 surrounding the HD 148937 star system as seen in visible light. Most of the image is taken up by a cloud-like structure shaped like an egg, slightly tilted to the right. It is colored in shades of orange and pink, with certain areas brighter than others. In a gap at its center, a white sphere shines brightly, with white, blue and green rays coming out of it. Surrounding the cloud are stars of different sizes and colors over a dark background. 

In a new study using ESO data, astronomers have shown that the two stars are unusually different from each other—one appears much younger and, unlike the other, is magnetic. Moreover, the nebula is significantly younger than either star at its heart, and is made up of gases normally found deep within a star and not on the outside. These clues together helped solve the mystery of the HD 148937 system—there were most likely three stars in the system until two of them clashed and merged, creating a new, larger and magnetic star. This violent event also created the spectacular nebula that now surrounds the remaining stars. 

Credits: ESO/L. Cal├žada, N. Risinger, DSS, VPHAS+ team.

Duration: 50 seconds

Release Date: April 4, 2024

#NASA #ESO #Space #Astronomy #Science #Nebulae #Nebula #NGC6164 #NGC6165 #Stars #StellarNursery #HD148937 #Norma #Constellation #MilkyWayGalaxy #Cosmos #Universe HD #Video

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