Hubble Photographs Mystery Object in Centaurus Constellation

"I have used the Hubble quite extensively to look at many dying stars and we've seen many mysterious and beautiful shapes and structures, but we've never seen such a jet-like structure."

- Raghvendra Sahai, Ph.D., Astrophysicist, Jet Propulsion Lab

In the top Hubble photo, the longest, nearly horizontal, jets of hot gas pulse outward from both sides of a mysterious object called He2-90. (The x-shaped streaks are reflections in the telescope). In the bottom Hubble photo, enhancement of the mysterious bright object is bisected by a large, vertical disk of gas and dust. Photographs in August 2000 courtesy NASA.
In the top Hubble photo, the longest, nearly horizontal, jets of hot gas pulse outward from both sides of a mysterious object called He2-90. (The x-shaped streaks are reflections in the telescope). In the bottom Hubble photo, enhancement of the mysterious bright object is bisected by a large, vertical disk of gas and dust. Photographs in August 2000 courtesy NASA.

September 6, 2000  Pasadena, California - At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, astrophysicists are puzzled by a bright object about 8,000 light years from earth in the constellation Centaurus. It is giving off large jet pulses that are more typical of star births. But there is also an accretion disk of gas and dust often associated with a dying star. The paradox of birth and death characteristics is forcing a re-evaluation of what has been considered a planetary nebula since the 1990s.

 

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