New Shape Of Frigid Boomerang Nebula Revealed By ALMA Telescope

October 25, 2013 6:36 AM

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New Shape Of Frigid Boomerang Nebula Revealed By ALMA Telescope

Located around 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Centaurus, the cosmic object is a chilling 1 degree Kelvin -- or minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit, details a National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) press release. This places the planetary nebula at a temperature colder than the afterglow that was left from the Big Bang -- space’s natural background temperature. Named the Boomerang Nebula, the star once resembled our own sun. But as its life is coming to an end, it has shed off its outer layers. White dwarf stars in the center of the object release extreme ultraviolet radiation, forcing the gas in the nebula to give off brilliant colors of light.

The object was first spotted by ground-based telescopes, which made it appear lopsided, reports the National Monitor. Then, using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in 2003, researchers attributed a bow-tie-like shape to the object. Recently, astronomers have gained a fresh view of the Boomeran...

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