A spooky new image of the Skull Nebula illuminated by a three-star system on Halloween.
The Skull Nebula, officially known as NGC 246, is located about 1,600 light-years from us in the constellation Cetus, otherwise known as the Whale. Use The telescope is very large In Chile, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) captured a new image of the strange nebula, which bears a striking resemblance to a skull floating in space.
NGC 246 is one planetary nebula consists of a closely linked pair of stars orbited by an outer third star. The nebula is the dusty remnant of a stellar explosion in it a star like the sun expels its outer layers, leaving behind a glowing white dwarf.
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The bright white dwarf is one of two stars that can be seen at the center of NGC 246. However, the white dwarf also has a companion red dwarf that cannot be seen in the new ESO image. These two stars orbit each other like a binary pair, orbited by a third star at a distance of about 1,900 times the space between Earth and the Sun.
“In general, these three stars establish NGC 246 as the first known planetary nebula known to have a hierarchy three-star system in its center, “follow one by one statement from ESO.
The new image was taken with the FOcal De-FOcal Dispenser and Low Dispersion Spectrometer 2, or FORS2, mounted on Antu – one of VLT’s telescopes at the Paranal Observatory.
The new view of the Skull Nebula captures the crimson clouds of gas and dust left over from explosion stars. The hydrogen gas (red) and oxygen (light blue) of the nebula appear to glow, illuminating the skull’s face against the dark background of interstellar space.
According to Samantha Mathewson @ Sam_Ashley13. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and more Facebook.