Cosmic Flower in Bloom: NASA Shares Image of Ring Nebula

The “ring” at the centre of this nebula is a thick cylinder of glowing gas and dust around the doomed star.

Cosmic Flower in Bloom: NASA Shares Image of Ring Nebula

Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope finds a delicate flower in the Ring Nebula

  • The Ring nebula was first discovered in 1779
  • NASA's Spitzer telescope captured the unique pattern
  • Spitzer was decommissioned in January 2020

NASA has shared a stunning image of a “cosmic flower in bloom” on Instagram. The photograph showed a heavenly entity resembling a flower in the Ring Nebula, which is located about 2,000 light-years away from us, in the constellation Lyra. The image, which showed a halo around the planetary nebula appearing like floral petals, was captured by NASA's now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope. The outer shell of this planetary nebula is formed from material ejected from a dying star, the space agency said.

The Ring nebula, also known as M57, is the glowing remains of a Sun-like star with an apparent magnitude of 8.8. French astronomer Antoine Darquier de Pellepoix had discovered it in 1779. The “ring” at the centre of this nebula is a thick cylinder of glowing gas and dust around the doomed star. As the star begins to run out of fuel, its core will become smaller and hotter, boiling off its outer layers, NASA said.

The Spitzer telescope has detected this nebula using its infrared array camera, showing in detail the outer regions, which appear like petals. Spitzer could detect infrared light from hydrogen molecules that absorb ultraviolet radiation from the star. Previous images, taken by visible-light telescopes, usually showed just the inner glowing loop of gas around the withering star. Because it can be viewed easily and is tilted towards Earth, the Ring nebula is an easy target of amateur astronomers.

NASA launched the Spitzer telescope, formerly known as Space Infrared Telescope Facility, in August 2003. It was decommissioned in January 2020. During its years of operation, Spitzer discovered a giant ring of Saturn, revealed a system of seven Earth-size planets around a star 40 light-years away, and studied the most distant known galaxies.

NASA regularly shares images on its social media accounts to let users see what astronomers have discovered in the vast universe.

Asus India's Arnold Su joins this week's Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, to talk about how the PC maker is planning to grow its presence in the country. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on X, Facebook, WhatsApp, Threads and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you want to know everything about top influencers, follow our in-house Who'sThat360 on Instagram and YouTube.

Ukraine Crisis: US President Joe Biden Warns Companies of Potential Russian Cyberattacks
Zomato Instant 10-Minute Food Delivery Service to Be Launched Soon
Share on Facebook Gadgets360 Twitter Share Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment google-newsGoogle News


Follow Us
© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Trending Products »
Latest Tech News »