Bright Planetary Nebula NGC 7027 from Hubble
What created this unusual planetary nebula?
NGC 7027 is one of the smallest, brightest, and most unusually shaped
planetary nebulas known.
Given its expansion rate,
NGC 7027 first started expanding,
as visible from Earth, about 600 years ago.
For much of its history, the planetary nebula has been expelling shells,
as seen in blue in the
In modern times, though, for
it began ejecting gas and dust (seen in red) in specific directions
that created a new pattern that seems to have four corners.
These shells and patterns have been mapped in impressive detail by
recent images from the
Wide Field Camera 3 onboard the
Hubble Space Telescope.
What lies at the nebula's center is unknown, with
one hypothesis holding it to be a
close binary star system
where one star sheds gas onto an erratic disk orbiting the other star.
NGC 7027, about 3,000
away, was first discovered in 1878 and
can be seen
with a standard backyard telescope toward the
constellation of the Swan
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings,
NASA Official: Jay Norris.
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& Michigan Tech. U.
Publications with keywords: NGC 7027 - planetary nebula
Publications with words: NGC 7027 - planetary nebula