22 November 2022

The Butterfly Nebula

"This sharp close-up was recorded by the Hubble Space Telescope and is processed here to show off remarkable details of the complex planetary nebula, highlighting in particular light emitted by oxygen (shown as blue), hydrogen (green), and nitrogen (red). NGC 6302 lies about 3,500 light-years away in the arachnologically correct constellation of the Scorpion (Scorpius). Planetary nebulas evolve from outer atmospheres of stars like our Sun, but usually fade in about 20,000 years."


  1. Question: Is this structure (?) moving through space or sort-of-stationary, and if it's moving, I wonder how that rate of speed might compare with a flying butterfly here on planet Earth. Just silly curiosity.

    1. This nebula is within our Milky Way galaxy.
      "Stars and gases at a wide range of distances from the Galactic Center orbit at approximately 220 kilometers per second. ...
      The Milky Way as a whole is moving at a velocity of approximately 600 km per second..." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milky_Way
      So, quite the fast butterfly.


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