Top 5 Unusual Nebulae
Nebulae are like the universe’s abstract art gallery. Since Hubble deployed in the 1990s, we have discovered hundreds of these hidden gems. While these give us insight to stellar evolution and the birth of stars, these also puzzle us by their complexity, chemistry, and beauty. It was a challenge to narrow down this list to 5, but here we go!
#5) Egg Nebula
The Egg Nebula is 3,000 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus. Astronomers are still trying to figure out the “beams” and if these are merely an illusion from the surrounding dust.
#4) U Camelopardalis
U-Cam is 1,500 light-years away in the constellation Camelopardalis. This carbon-rich star gives us a clue as to how our Sun will “end” in about 5 billion years from now. It is essentially a red giant sloughing off its outer core layers.
#3) Calabash Nebula
Calabash is located 5,000 light-years away within the M46 open cluster in the Puppis constellation. This “broken egg” looking nebula actually has sulfur and hydrogen-sulfide chemicals, so it is considered the “smelliest” nebula!
#2) Barnard 68
No, this is NOT a black hole! This is an extremely cold and dense nebula that is actually absorbing the light emitted from the starlight behind it. It is 500 light-years away in the Ophiuchus constellation.
#1) Red Square
Red Square nebula, formally named the MWC-922, is located 5,000 light-years away in the Serpens constellation. The box-like shape is still being researched, but astronomers guess that what we are seeing is rather an optical illusion from the dust circulation “pinching” the corners.
Thank you for reading, I’m off to go find some more awesome astronomy to share! Keep looking up!