Ants in Space?
From ground-based telescopes, the so-called "ant nebula" (Menzel 3, or Mz 3) resembles the head and thorax of a garden-variety ant. This dramatic NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, showing 10 times more detail, reveals the "ant's" body as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun-like star.
The Hubble images directly challenge old ideas about the last stages in the lives of stars. By observing Sun-like stars as they approach their deaths, the Hubble Heritage image of Mz 3 - along with pictures of other planetary nebulae - shows that our Sun's fate probably will be more interesting, complex, and striking than astronomers imagined just a few years ago.
About the Image
|Release date:||1 February 2001, 15:00|
|Size:||1072 x 708 px|
About the Object
|Name:||Ant Nebula, Menzel 3, PN Mz 3|
|Type:||• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary|
• X - Nebulae Images/Videos
|Distance:||8000 light years|
|Position (RA):||16 17 13.36|
|Position (Dec):||-51° 59' 10.10"|
|Field of view:||1.78 x 1.17 arcminutes|
|Orientation:||North is 100.1° left of vertical|
Colours & filters
|502 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|
|656 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|
|658 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|
|673 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|