Planetary Nebula NGC 6210

The NASA/ESAHubble Space Telescope has shown us that the shrouds of gas surrounding dying, sunlike stars (called planetary nebulae) come in a variety of strange shapes, from an "hourglass" to a "butterfly" to a "stingray." With this image of NGC 6210, the Hubble telescope has added another bizarre form to the rogues gallery of planetary nebulae: a turtle swallowing a seashell. Giving this dying star such a weird name is less of a challenge than trying to figure out how dying stars create these unusual shapes.The remarkable features of this nebula are the numerous holes in the inner shells with jets of material streaming from them. These jets produce column-shaped features that are mirrored in the opposite direction. The multiple shells of material ejected by the dying star give this planetary nebula its odd form. In the "full nebula" image, the brighter central region looks like a "nautilus shell"; the fainter outer structure (colored red) a "tortoise." The dying star is the white dot in the center.

The NASA/ESAHubble Space Telescope has shown us that the shrouds of gas surrounding dying, sunlike stars (called planetary nebulae) come in a variety of strange shapes, from an 'hourglass' to a 'butterfly' to a 'stingray.' With this image of NGC 6210, the Hubble telescope has added another bizarre form to the rogues gallery of planetary nebulae: a turtle swallowing a seashell. Giving this dying star such a weird name is less of a challenge than trying to figure out how dying stars create these unusual shapes.

Credit:

Robert Rubin and Christopher Ortiz (NASA/ESA Ames Research Center), Patrick Harrington and Nancy Jo Lame (University of Maryland), Reginald Dufour (Rice University), and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo9836a
Type:Collage
Release date:22 October 1998, 06:00
Size:2400 x 3000 px

About the Object

Name:IRAS 16423+2353, NGC 6210
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary
• X - Nebulae Images/Videos
Distance:6500 light years

Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

Image Formats

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Screensize JPEG
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