Hubble Space Telescope is getting closer to its 29th anniversary and NASA it is celebrating this event by releasing some fantastic pictures from the Southern Crab Nebula. From the images released by NASA, we can see that they documented in detail a red giant star and a white dwarf star situated at the center of the Nebula. Together they form a binary star system. NASA says that the white dwarf star is absorbing the materials expelled by the red giant star.
What Is the Southern Crab Nebula?
It is also called Hen 2-104 and is a nebula in the constellation Centaurus, which is at thousands of light-years from Earth. The red giant star forms the Crab Nebula is a symbiotic Mira variable, and it’s pairing with the white dwarf. The name was given by the resemblance to the Crab Nebula that is situated in the northern sky. Also, in the center of the nebula, among the red giant and the white dwarf, a pair of stars are present too. The Crab Nebula first documentation was in 1967, but at that time, scientists thought that they were looking at an ordinary star.
After that, in 1989, scientists have seen the complexity of the formation. And much later, in 1998, with Hubble’s help, they have seen better and detailed the complex structure.
What Is Happening in the Crab Nebula?
NASA is explaining that massive amounts of gas are released in the space, the white dwarf is absorbing materials, and after that, it’s ejecting them in an eruption way creating the structures seen in the nebula. The red giant is stopping its eruption as well, and the white dwarf stops being feed with materials. Besides this, more intricate structures can be created by a lot of explosions, and the brightest spots are found where the gas and dust are collecting, right at the edges of the nebula. Because of the hydrogen, sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen, the nebula gives you the illusion that it haves crab legs.
However, Hubble Telescope was the one that helps the scientists to see in detail all the phenomena happened in the space, by making more than 1.5 million observations, examining more than 43,500 celestial objects, and circling Earth more than 163,500 times in its 29 years of existence.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.