Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 3132: The Eight Burst Nebula

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NGC 3132: The Eight Burst Nebula

It's the dim star, not the bright one, near the center of
NGC 3132 that created this odd but beautiful
planetary nebula.

Nicknamed the
Eight-Burst Nebula and the Southern
Ring Nebula, the glowing gas originated in the
outer layers of a star like our

In this
color picture
, the hot blue pool of light seen surrounding this
binary system
is energized by the hot surface of the faint star.

photographed to explore unusual symmetries, it's the asymmetries that
help make this
planetary nebula so intriguing.

Neither the unusual shape of the surrounding cooler shell nor the structure and
placements of the cool filamentary
dust lanes running across
NGC 3132
are well understood.

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