20 Years of Hubble Photos Show how the Stingray Nebula fades

20 Years of Hubble Photos Show how the Stingray Nebula fades

The Stingray Nebula is a known planetary nebula. Astronomers have seen its formation for half a century, and now they have noticed something strange: it is disappearing.

“It’s very, very dramatic and very different,” said Martin A. of the Institute de Astrophysica de Andalusia in Granada, Spain. Guerrero said. New study of the Stingray Nebula. “What we are witnessing is the evolution of a nebula in real time. Over the years, we have seen variations in the nebula. We have never seen clarity with this view before.”

Between 1996 and 2016, a series of Hubble images of the Stingray nebula revealed that it was weak, dim, and of low importance. It is the shadow of its former self, and is weakening day by day. For example, the luminosity caused by the presence of ionized oxygen dropped by an unprecedented 1,000 in twenty years.

whats going on?

Stingray Nebula in 1996 (left) and 2016 (right). Image credit: NASA, That, B. Polyk (University of Washington), m. Guerrero (Instituto de Astrophysica de Andalusia), and G. Ramos-Larios (University of Guadalajara)

Astronomer Carl Gordon Henis classified the center star of the Stingray Nebula, known as SAO 244567, as a bright blue giant in 1967. Four years later, astronomers realized that the late-stage star was surrounded by a faint nebula, which was quickly identified as a start. Planetary nebula. Stingray has the official name of Hen 3-1357, and is a kind of nebula formed by a star. Approaching the end of its life And begins to expel its outer layers to the surrounding structure.

Beginning in 1971, SAO began to rise in temperature to 244567, rising to 40,000 to 108,000 degrees Fahrenheit at the beginning of the millennium. Then it changed course, cooling and blurring in the process.

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As the intensity decreases from the central star, the amount of radiation hitting the nebula decreases. As the lights in your room dim, the stingray nebula slowly turns off.

Astronomers suspect a sudden rise in temperature A helium flash, A critical state within a giant star, where a shell of helium melts within a day, releasing enormous amounts of bent-up energy. But because the stars are so large, it can take years to notice changes in the surface.

But now that the star is back to normal, Stingray’s brilliance is fading. It happens all over the universe all the time, but this time astronomers are lucky enough to keep this process active.

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