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Hubble Space Telescope Captures An Image Of A Colorful Orange And Purple Nebula

First Posted: Jun 26, 2017 04:53 AM EDT
Spirograph Nebula
IC 418, a planetary nebula, also called Spirograph Nebula, in the Milky Way Galaxy.
(Photo : YouTube Library/YouTube screenshot)

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope spotted an image of the glowing nebula referred to as IC 418 in 2000. It is about almost 2,000 light-years away from the planet Earth near the Lepus constellation.

The Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland stated that the planetary nebula just like the IC 418 is at the last stage of evolution for a star like the Sun. It was a red giant star before and discharged its outer layers into space some thousands of years ago. The nebula has stretched to about 0.1 light-year in diameter since its eruption, according to Space.com.

In the image, one could see the white core, which is hot, is the stellar remnant of the red giant. The ultraviolet radiation generates the fluorescence in the nebula around it. Then, the star will cool and will disappear about more than billions of years as a white dwarf.

IC 418 is also referred to as Spirograph Nebula. It is a planetary nebula located in the Milky Way Galaxy. The pattern of the nebula resembles the pattern in using the Spirograph. This is a toy that creates geometric patterns on paper.

A nebula (or also called nebulae or nebulas) is an interstellar cloud of helium, dust, hydrogen and other ionized gases. Most nebulae are massive in size and about millions of light-years in diameter. The brightest one is the Orion nebula. This nebula occupies an area twice the diameter of the full Moon. It can be seen with the naked eye.

Most of the nebulae could be seen because of their fluorescence that is caused by the embedded hot stars. On the other hand, some could only be seen with long exposures and special filters. The nebulae are always star-forming regions just like the Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula. They eject gas, dust and other materials and shape into denser regions that could lead to the formation of stars. Meanwhile, some other materials could develop into planets and other planetary system objects as theorized. 

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