(ORDO NEWS) — Before you is the mysterious bipolar * planetary nebula Sh2-71, about 3,200 light-years from Earth.
Its mystery lies in the fact that scientists still do not know which star caused the appearance of such a beautiful object.
*A bipolar nebula is a nebula characterized by two relatively symmetrical “petals” on either side of the central star. Approximately 20% of planetary nebulae are bipolar.
Based on experience, Sh2-71 should have appeared as a result of the “molting” of the bright star in the center of the image, which, approaching the end of the evolutionary cycle, shed its outer shells.
However, some astronomers believe that the parent of the Sh2-71 nebula is a much dimmer blue star, located just below and to the right of the central one (marked in the second image).
The fact is that the blue star is located closer to the bowels of Sh2-71. In addition, this dim star shows more activity than the bright star in the center.
It is worth noting that the numerous stars in the foreground are stars between Earth and Sh2-71.
It seems that they are at a relatively small distance from each other, but in fact they are separated by trillions and trillions of kilometers.
The image was taken on May 14, 2012 by the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii.
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