3D image of the Cat’s Eye Nebula reveals the secret of its “heart”

(ORDO NEWS) — Nebulae are the alpha and omega of stellar life. These giant clouds of gas can feed young stars, and also be witnesses of terrible cosmic events – their death, follows from the data published by Space.com.

In a new study, an international team of scientists studied the Cat’s Eye Nebula. It is located at a distance of about 3000 light years from Earth in the constellation Draco.

To better understand its structure, the specialists had to create a 3D model, which revealed several interesting details at once.

The first is that in the nebula you can see a colorful structure resembling a shell. It was formed when a dying star with the mass of the Sun ejected its outer layer of gas.

The second is that the movement of jets inside the nebula hints at the complex structure of the Cat’s eye.

Its central star ejects high-density streams of gas, and these jets outline circles similar to the behavior of a top.

This leads to the appearance of symmetrical rings and indicates that the star in the “heart” of the nebula may actually be a binary.

The spherical shape of the Cat’s eye allows it to be classified as planetary. Astronomers hope to better understand this population of nebulae, as they may reveal the future fate of the Sun.


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