Gas released by a dying star races across space at more than 600,000 miles an hour.
This Butterfly Nebula is also known as NGC 6302 or the Bug Nebula which rests in the constellation Scorpius. The burst of energy released from a dying star pulls and energizes gas along with it, forming a delicate shape like a butterfly or an hourglass. Its central star, a recently discovered white dwarf, is one of the hottest stars in the galaxy, with a surface temperature over 200,000 K. Amazingly, this object has been know since at least 1888 and the earliest known study of it took place in 1907, long before Hubble brought us this spectacular view.
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Object Name: NGC 6302 (Butterfly Nebula, Bug Nebula)
Release Date: Sep 18, 2009
Image Credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team