NASA’s discovery the Eight-Burst Nebula could spell out the Sun’s eventual doom. Reddit Spaceporn says that the Sun seems destined to end up like the planetary nebula discovered by NASA. It was created by the gases coming from two dying stars. There is still not a whole lot that is known about this space wonder. Astronauts and scientists continue to investigate this breathtaking oddity in hopes of learning new information about it, according to IO9.
The Eight-Burst Nebula is known as planetary nebula and has been officially termed NGC 3132. Despite the fact that it has nothing to do with planets, it was given this big name. The planetary nebula look like gas planets and it is believed that this is why the name was given. It is also dubbed as Southern Ring Nebula and the glowing gas began in the outer layers of a star. IO9 stated that this star is said to have been similar to the Sun.
NASA reported that The Eight-Burst Nebula is about 2,000 light years away from Earth. It resides in the Constellation Vela. It is considered planetary nebula rather than the regular kind because it is the result of dying stars and how it vents its remaining gas into the space that surrounds it. Regular nebulae endure for eons and bring about new stars being formed. Planetary nebulae, on the other-hand, are smaller and have a shorter life span and come about because of a dying star. As NASA put it in the IO9 interview, the Eight-Burst Nebula is a strange sight, but a beautiful one at that.
According to NASA, there are two lights at the center of the structure and the pictures taken show this. The star that has already died is the dimmer one out of the two lights. The Eight-Burst Nebula or Southern-Ring Nebula as it is also called, surrounds a star system that is binary. In this system, the star that has died ejected its gas and formed a cosmic vista that will be around for quite a while, perhaps a few thousand years. This dead star remains a white dwarf star that is extremely dense in a retired state. The other star, while probably close to death, still shines bright in the center of the planetary nebula. It did not play a role in the creation of it, as did the other dead star, but it was pulled into the action and takes center stage.
Anne’s Astronomy News stated that the nebula will disperse into space in the next several thousand years. This will happen gradually and the remaining star will cool down and then fade away. This will occur for billion of years and the star will be a white dwarf during this time. The article even added that our own Sun will have a similar fate or so researchers say. This is not expected to occur for five billion years or more though. NASA’s Discovery Eight-Burst Nebula could predict the doom of the Sun, maybe not for a while but the article said that chances are very likely that this will eventually happen.
NASA’s NGC 3132 features a star of the tenth magnitude, which is the living star, and a star of the sixteenth magnitude, which is the dead one. The dead one caused the concentric structure of the nebula through multiple outbursts. This dead star caused this strange sight and yet a beautiful structure as well. This star,which is also called a white dwarf, is about 100,000 K and has blown off its own layers. It is also the reason why the nebula fluoresces brightly. It also emits a lot of intense ultraviolet radiation. Gases continue to shoot out of the white dwarf star at the speed of 14.4 kilometers a second.
NASA does not yet fully understand the unusual shape of the structure. The Eight-Burst Nebula is still under investigation and is not yet completely understood. Nasa continues to dub the Eight-Burst Nebula as a strange sight. It is beautiful creation, according to Anne’s Astronomy News, but a mystery all the same. Is the Eight-Burst Nebula predicting the Sun’s doom? NASA and researchers seem to think so especially if it follows the pattern of the planetary nebula found by NASA.
By Heather Granruth
IO9: A star steals its partner’s spotlight in the Southern Ring Nebula
IO9: The Eight-Burst Nebula is one of the strangest sights in the universe
Anne’s Astronomy News: NGC 3132, a bright planetary nebula in Vela
NASA: Astronomy Picture of the Day
Reddit Spaceporn: The Eight-Burst Nebula
Photo Courtesy of Hubble Heritage’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of PawelK’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License