A Beautiful Boomerang Nebula

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#105169 by @ 29.12.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
A Beautiful Boomerang Nebula


Explanation:

This symmetric cloud dubbed the
Boomerang Nebula was created by a high-speed
wind of gas and dust blowing from an aging central star at
speeds of nearly 600,000 kilometers per hour.

The rapid expansion has cooled molecules in the
nebular gas to about one degree above
absolute zero - colder
than even the
cosmic
background radiation
- making it the
coldest known region in the distant Universe.

Shining with light from the central star reflected by dust, the frigid
Boomerang Nebula is believed to be a
star or stellar system evolving toward the
planetary
nebula
phase.

This Hubble image was recorded using
polarizing filters (analogous to polariod sunglasses)
and color coded by the angle associated with the
polarized light.

The gorgeous result traces the small dust particles responsible for
polarizing and scattering the light.

The Boomerang Nebula spans about one
light year
and lies about 5,000 light years away toward the
constellation
Centaurus.


APOD presents: Astronomy Pictures of the Year for 2007


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