The star intersected its companion to form a double-lobed nebula

Nebulae are some of the most beautiful objects in space: large clouds of dust and gas illuminated by light from nearby stars. These regions are often hot spots for star formation, as new stars are born from dust that gathers more material due to gravity. In the group of nebulae, there are different types such as emission nebulaewhere the air is ionized by radiation and bright light, or the remnants of a supernovawhich are the buildings left behind after massive stars reach the end of their lives and explode.

A recent image taken by NOIRLab’s Gemini South telescope shows a rare type of nebula called a bipolar reflection nebula. Known as the Toby Jug Nebula because of its shape similar to a traditional English jug, the nebula IC 2220 is about 1,200 light-years away in the constellation Carina, or Keel.

Dust and gas surrounding nearly identical strings indicate the death of an ancient red star, captured by Gemini South, half of the International Gemini Observatory, operated by NSF’s NOIRLab. Its design, which is said to resemble the old style of the English jar, is a typical bipolar reflection nebula. International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA Image processing: TA Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab), J. Miller (Gemini Observatory/NSF’s NOIRLab), M. Rodriguez (Gemini Observatory/NSF’s NOIRLab), M. Zamani ( NSF’s NOIRLab)

A double nebula refers to two circular regions that extend from the heart of the nebula, a red star that is reaching the end of its life. Very low stars such as our sun reach this stage when they begin to run out of fuel and expand to a large size, before shedding layers of gas to form a planetary nebula.

“In about five billion years from now, when the sun burns out its hydrogen gas, it too will become a red giant and eventually turn into a planetary nebula,” NOIRLab. they write. “In the future, all that will be left of our solar system will be a star-shaped nebula like the Toby Jug Nebula with a slowly cooling sun at its heart.”

The red giant star, named HR3126, is thought to be responsible for the two-dimensional nebula’s appearance. Astronomers say that this red giant originally had another star, which was pulled into the middle of the thick material that surrounds the red giant. This collapse of the other star would have encouraged the formation of two lines.

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