Credit & Copyright: Anglo-Australian Telescope BoardExplanation: The unusual geometry of this stellar nebula creates somewhat of a mystery. At the nebula's center is a young binary star system that probably created the nebula, but how? This type of nebula shows a "bipolar flow" which carries a significant amount of mass away from the central stars. It has been speculated that the central stars create a pair of jets that precess like a spinning top. These jets might throw gas into a thick disk which we see here edge on - so that it appears to us as a rectangle. The nebula emission is also unusual in that some of the infrared light it emits might be associated with unusual carbon-containing molecules.
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day