NGC 1360: The Robin s Egg Nebula
pretty cosmic cloud lies some 1,500 light-years away,
it shape and color reminiscent of a blue robin's egg.
It spans about 3 light-years, nested securely within the
boundaries of the southern constellation Fornax.
a planetary nebula it doesn't represent a beginning
though, but instead corresponds to a brief and final phase in the
evolution of an
visible in the telescopic image the central star of NGC 1360
is known to be a binary star system likely consisting of two
evolved white dwarf stars, less massive but much hotter than the Sun.
Their intense and otherwise invisible ultraviolet radiation has
stripped away electrons from the atoms in the surrounding gaseous shroud.
The predominant blue-green hue of NGC 1360 seen here is the
strong emission produced as electrons recombine with
doubly ionized oxygen atoms.
Authors & editors:
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings,
NASA Official: Jay Norris.
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& Michigan Tech. U.
Publications with keywords: planetary nebula
Publications with words: planetary nebula