Hubble images searchlight beams from a preplanetary nebula

Apr 28, 2012
Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA

(Phys.org) -- The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has been at the cutting edge of research into what happens to stars like our sun at the ends of their lives. One stage that stars pass through as they run out of nuclear fuel is called the preplanetary or protoplanetary nebula stage. This Hubble image of the Egg Nebula shows one of the best views to date of this brief but dramatic phase in a star’s life.

The preplanetary phase is a short period in the cycle of stellar evolution, and has nothing to do with planets. Over a few thousand years, the hot remains of the aging star in the center of the nebula heat it up, excite the gas, and make it glow as a subsequent planetary nebula. The short lifespan of preplanetary nebulae means there are relatively few of them in existence at any one time. Moreover, they are very dim, requiring powerful telescopes to be seen. This combination of rarity and faintness means they were only discovered comparatively recently. The Egg Nebula, the first to be discovered, was first spotted less than 40 years ago, and many aspects of this class of object remain shrouded in mystery.

At the center of this image, and hidden in a thick cloud of dust, is the nebula’s central star. While we can’t see the star directly, four searchlight beams of light coming from it shine out through the nebula. It is thought that ring-shaped holes in the thick cocoon of dust, carved by jets coming from the star, let the beams of light emerge through the otherwise opaque cloud. The precise mechanism by which stellar jets produce these holes is not known for certain, but one possible explanation is that a binary star system, rather than a single star, exists at the center of the nebula.

The onion-like layered structure of the more diffuse cloud surrounding the central cocoon is caused by periodic bursts of material being ejected from the dying star. The bursts typically occur every few hundred years.

The distance to the Egg Nebula is only known very approximately, the best guess placing it at around 3,000 light-years from Earth. This in turn means that astronomers do not have any accurate figures for the size of the nebula (it may be larger and further away, or smaller but nearer).

This image is produced from exposures in visible and infrared light from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3.

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kevinrtrs
1.2 / 5 (17) Apr 28, 2012
Just how do they know that this is indeed the stage as described? Has someone somewhere observed the WHOLE stage to actually record or witness how it progressed from start to completion and is now in a position to confirm that what is being observed is indeed the pre-planetary nebula stage? Who lived that long, given that the phenomenon was first observed 40 years ago?
One must question these theoretical assumptions where it is stated as if it's an established fact.
Nathan314
not rated yet Apr 28, 2012
torus...
aroc91
3.5 / 5 (8) Apr 28, 2012
Just how do they know that this is indeed the stage as described? Has someone somewhere observed the WHOLE stage to actually record or witness how it progressed from start to completion and is now in a position to confirm that what is being observed is indeed the pre-planetary nebula stage? Who lived that long, given that the phenomenon was first observed 40 years ago?
One must question these theoretical assumptions where it is stated as if it's an established fact.


It's not like logic and common sense exist, making it possible to extrapolate based on well understood laws or anything.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (7) Apr 28, 2012
@kevinrtrs

Careful, crazy things can happen when you start critically thinking about what you're reading. You might -- gasp! -- start to realize that a lot of the stuff you're reading in cosmology and astrophysics is extremely speculative.

Re: "It is thought that ring-shaped holes in the thick cocoon of dust, carved by jets coming from the star, let the beams of light emerge through the otherwise opaque cloud. The precise mechanism by which stellar jets produce these holes is not known for certain, but one possible explanation is that a binary star system, rather than a single star, exists at the center of the nebula."

One of these days, astrophysicists will learn what the bipolar hourglass morphology of the z-pinch is. After double layers and Birkeland currents, it's arguably the third most fundamental concept in plasma physics.

Until then ...
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (8) Apr 28, 2012
Look familiar? ...

http://www.ancien...set.html

Anybody spent any time wondering why Zeus' "thunderbolt" looks nothing like terrestrial lightning? We had to build billion-dollar high-intensity plasma discharge laboratories in order to see these shapes. The Greeks covered a good number of the Peratt instabilities (8 or more ...) in the morphologies they show Zeus holding.

It's really quite stunning how nobody blinks at this stuff. There is no conventional explanation for how they could have identified these stages of high-intensity discharges. The Sanskrit vajra, the Japanese kongo and the Tibetan dorje are the same exact hourglass morphology, and all similarly mean "thunderbolt" in each language.

Why in the world would four separate cultures identify the hourglass morphology with "thunderbolt" when there is no meaningful reference for such a connection which can today be identified in nature?
simplicio
5 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
Just how do they know that this is indeed the stage as described?

They are professionals and this is what they do for a job. Every professional knows a lot about his field. It is not hard to understand.
RealityCheck
1 / 5 (4) Apr 28, 2012
Hi.

What we 'see' is obviously:

( a ) an inner 'closing cone' or Z-pinching stream of nuclei electron PLASMA outflows feature, and

( b ) an outer 'opening cone' or diverging stream of electromagnetic radiation (light) feature.

Both of these 'conical flow features' are being viewed from SIDE ON, so naturally where the view is through the 'thickest' part at right and left of cones, the two 'legs' seem like they are 'separate features' but are not. It is merely that parts of the flows-cones are seen as 'thinnest' from straight on, so it look like 'empty space' there because the image/telescope does not show the whole conical surface.

They aren't 'searchlight beams', only illusions. Edges of conical flows show up more than the straight-on thinner cross-section material/radiation does.

More care, less fanciful interpretations. And I have to agree with HannesAlfven on this one. The most likely 'shape' is 'plasma-pinch cone' (within a radiation cone) seen from the side.

Cheers!
A2G
3 / 5 (10) Apr 28, 2012
Hannes wrote "Anybody spent any time wondering why Zeus' "thunderbolt" looks nothing like terrestrial lightning?"

what are you implying scientifically with this? Are you saying there was a Zeus who actually had an weapon like his thunderbolt?

Well I have a confession to make. It was me. You see right after I developed my time machine I occasionally would stop by ancient Greece as the ladies of that time were super fine. I mean seriously hot. Sorry, back to the thunderbolt thingy. Well I have one of those as well. It actually becomes widely available in 2046. But you need a time travel machine like mine to get one.
But I went to 2047 to get the second model as the 2046 initial one had some backfire issues. But I would take this thing back to ancient Greece to impress the ladies and walla you have the story of Zeus's thunderbolt.

aroc91
5 / 5 (10) Apr 29, 2012
Anybody spent any time wondering why Zeus' "thunderbolt" looks nothing like terrestrial lightning?


Anybody spent any time wondering why cartoon hearts look nothing like real hearts?
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (7) Apr 29, 2012
Re: (predictable mythology bashing)

Guys, the battle between science and mythology/religion is so last century. The battle of the 21st century for science will be much more threatening to the establishment insofar as they will lose it. The reason they will lose it is because they have put so little effort into understanding the arguments coming at them. That anybody imagined they could just skim over the laboratory behavior of the universe's preferred state for matter has always been a byproduct of people looking at the reactions of those around them for what to believe.

What is so interesting is the sheer amount of material which people like myself have to work with, in bringing these arguments into mainstream awareness. The Thunderbolts group has been incredibly successful in digging up investigative leads and arguments. All that's left is to put this into a format which piques the public's imagination.

You guys have no idea what's coming at you.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2012
It took me 6 years to learn the Electric Universe. But, it only took me 6 weeks to learn Adobe After Effects.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2012
And by the way, ostracism and public ridicule are part of the larger feedback mechanism for maintaining belief in the conventional theories. Ostracism was ignored by psychologists for 100 years, before it was studied and found to exert incredible influence upon people. The unexpected finding is that the pain of ostracism persists long after physical pain is forgotten. Only a select few can sustain it for extended periods of time without caving. I've been ridiculed in many places online over the years, and by many of the most famous anti-EU bullies. It's an interesting conundrum really, that to hear both sides of the arguments, one has to regularly expose themselves to hostile verbal abuses. Its certainly not the image of scientific discourse which Socrates had in mind.
A2G
3 / 5 (12) Apr 29, 2012
Hannes, Gee mam you are a little sensitive. I was just f***ing with you. Why do you take it so hard? It is all the rejection from people who will not acknowledge you incredible brilliance.

Or is it just that you are wrong? Have you considered the possibility that just as those you rail against with your superior attitude, that you too are guilty of the same attitude as them?

You use Birkeland currents like they use DM. Anytime you see something, you pronounce Birkeland currents. I understand your theories completely. They are just wrong.

You know that you cannot honestly explain the complete workings of the Egg Nebula with the EU thinking. You may want to, but you can't. Otherwise go make one in the lab and post it. It should be easy to do as all you would need is a vacuum chamber and electricity with a little gas for the plasma. Do it yourself if you can really do it with just electricity I dare you. Until then, please leave us alone. I am sick of the EU sh*t.
A2G
3.2 / 5 (11) Apr 29, 2012
BTW Hannes, I work with plasma in Vacuum chambers and we move the electrodes around and make them all different shapes. We have used various gases, even just the pulled the air around us down into a high vacuum. We have made all kinds of shapes of plasma and then shape them with magnets in various ways. Still no Egg Nebula.

SO when you pronounce the EU thingy as being right without checking your work against reality, you begin to have problems. It doesn't work. There is no doubt plasma at work in the universe. But you cannot explain it all with just electricity. There is something missing from your thinking and you know it. Otherwise you would just take the time to make the various nebulas or even a small star in the lab. How about a supernova? Make one of those.

Or a moon orbit a planet. Just one moon would be cool. But do a whole Saturn thing with ring and moons and then I will be impressed.

Because all you need is electricity and a vacuum, right?
A2G
3.2 / 5 (11) Apr 29, 2012
Hannes arrogantly wrote:

"It took me 6 years to learn the Electric Universe. But, it only took me 6 weeks to learn Adobe After Effects."

If so, then use your brilliance with Adobe After Effects and make a video to show me where to place the electrodes in a vacuum chamber and which gases to use. If you know how to make an Egg Nebula with just electricity then do it. I will make it for you.

Somehow I doubt the video will be posted anytime soon. Or try never. Just more self promotional delusion.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Apr 29, 2012
Re: "If so, then use your brilliance with Adobe After Effects and make a video to show me where to place the electrodes in a vacuum chamber and which gases to use. If you know how to make an Egg Nebula with just electricity then do it. I will make it for you."

This is silly. Compare this ...

"It is thought that ring-shaped holes in the thick cocoon of dust, carved by jets coming from the star, let the beams of light emerge through the otherwise opaque cloud."

... with the inherent hourglass morphology of the z-pinch, and there is no comparison between these two inferences. The first inference lacks a solid physical explanation for how hot jets of *GAS* will retain their structure over distances significant enough for us to actually observe them.

It takes plasma double layers to contain astrophysical jets over astrophysical distances.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Apr 29, 2012
Re: "You know that you cannot honestly explain the complete workings of the Egg Nebula with the EU thinking. You may want to, but you can't. Otherwise go make one in the lab and post it."

Minor problem: How are people to perform these experiments without funding?

Also, why would people actually fund such a theory when they still don't know what a plasma is? Seems to me that the first step is to explain to people what plasmas are.

The only way to fund this science is to force it upon the astrophysical community, through public pressure.
simplicio
5 / 5 (7) Apr 29, 2012
The only way to fund this science is to force it upon the astrophysical community, through public pressure.

Science does not work that way, by force and pressure. It works by looking into clues that have reality behind them. The LHC is big project. It was funded because it has chance to discover many new things and because it has solid science behind it's mission. This electric universe stuff is not real science. It cannot make a case for funding, so instead you say to use force and pressure? No.
A2G
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 30, 2012
Hannes wrote:

"Minor problem: How are people to perform these experiments without funding?"

You mean you that you have this theory and understanding of how the universe works, but you can't get $5000 together to do some basic experiments with a high voltage power supply and a used vacuum chamber to prove you are right?" If you really understood what you are talking about you would know this. You want the public and scientists to understand plasmas, but it appears that you are the one who does not understand them and how easy they are to make. I mean you can buy a plasma cutting torch system for under $2000. I have one and it works great. Are you saying that the manufacturers of this do not understand plasmas? But that you do? I would bet $10,000 that you have no idea how to build a plasma cutting torch and yet you claim to be the expert on plasma in space. Are you really sure about that?

You do not even realize how idiotic you sound to those who really understand plasma theory.
A2G
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 30, 2012
Hannes, I can make you a plasma from scratch with parts off of ebay for under $1500. You can watch it move and flow. You can shape it with strong magnets. It is easy. If you would like I can give you the parts list.

1. High voltage power supply (Neon sign type is fine)$200
2. Used high vacuum pump $400
3. 4" diameter polycarbonate tube x 12" long and end caps to seal $200
4. Some high voltage wire (spark plug wire)$50
5. Some high strength neodymium magnets $200
6. electrode material (coat hanger wire will work for this just fine.)$10 as I only use the very best coat hanger wire.
7. Some wood to support the whole thing up in the air $20
8. Your chosen gas to work with, such as neon etc.

So get to work Mister Plasma wizard and build me an Egg Nebula. After all it just takes electricity, right?
A2G
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 30, 2012
Now Hannes are you going to tell me that I do not understand plasmas? BTW the equipment I use to experiment costs considerably more than what I just quoted you. But I have made them with as cheaply as I describe above. And I agree that there are plasmas in space without a doubt. But I am sorry trying to explain them with only using electricity is just plain stupid. That is why those who are truly knowledgeable of plasma do not give you much respect. They do not have it in for you, it is just you don't deserve respect, especially with your holier than thou attitude. You are not as smart as you have deluded yourself into thinking you are.

Building plasmas are easy. Making an Egg Nebula, not so much.

So once again, go make an Egg Nebula in the Lab. It can be done for under $1500 if your theories are correct.

Until then, STFU.
A2G
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 30, 2012
Hannes wrote "And by the way, ostracism and public ridicule are part of the larger feedback mechanism for maintaining belief in the conventional theories."

This is exactly what a fellow I know says about his revolutionary stock trading program. The only reason he can't get it going is from lack of funding and belief. He knows if he wasn't ostracized for his theories of stock trading he would be super wealthy. But the guys in the "system" won't give him a break and the funding he needs to prove he is right.

So sad for him. But his business of picking cans out of the trash seems to be going okay for him.

He and you share one thing in common. Delusions of grandeur.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Apr 30, 2012
The image associated with this article is clearly an artists conception and not from hubble.
A2G
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 30, 2012
Then Hannes you act like no one is researching plasmas or Z-Pinch machines. Yet from wikipedia alone we find this about Z-pinch machines.

"They can be found in various institutions such as Cornell University (USA), University of Michigan (USA), Sandia National Laboratories (USA), Nevada Terawatt Facility (USA), Ruhr University (Germany), Imperial College (United Kingdom), École Polytechnique (France), and the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel)."

So there is funding for legitimate research into plasma physics. But just not for delusional physics. You say Z-Pinch all the time without truly understanding what they can and cannot do.
A2G
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 30, 2012
VD wrote "The image associated with this article is clearly an artists conception and not from hubble"

For someone who calls others "tard" all the time you really missed this one. You should check it out first. Plus there are many other photos of the Egg Nebula that match from other sources including Keck in Hawaii. This is an actuall Hubble photo as widely reported in many science publications.