A close look at the Toby Jug Nebula

Oct 09, 2013
Located about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Carina (the Ship's Keel), the Toby Jug Nebula, more formally known as IC 2220, is an example of a reflection nebula. It is a cloud of gas and dust illuminated from within by the central star, designated HD 65750. Credit: ESO

ESO's Very Large Telescope has captured a remarkably detailed image of the Toby Jug Nebula, a cloud of gas and dust surrounding a red giant star. This view shows the characteristic arcing structure of the nebula, which, true to its name, does indeed look a little like a jug with a handle.

Located about 1200 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Carina (The Ship's Keel), the Toby Jug Nebula, more formally known as IC 2220, is an example of a reflection nebula. It is a cloud of gas and illuminated from within by a star called HD 65750. This star, a type known as a red giant, has five times the mass of our Sun but it is in a much more advanced stage of its , despite its comparatively young age of around 50 million years.

The nebula was created by the star, which is losing part of its mass out into the surrounding space, forming a cloud of gas and dust as the material cools. The dust consists of elements such as carbon and simple, heat-resistant compounds such as titanium dioxide and calcium oxide (lime). In this case, detailed studies of the object in infrared light point to silicon dioxide (silica) being the most likely compound reflecting the star's light.

IC 2220 is visible as the star's light is reflected off the grains of dust. This celestial butterfly structure is almost symmetrical, and spans about one light-year. This phase of a star's life is short-lived and such objects are thus rare.

Red giants are formed from that are ageing and approaching the final stages of their evolution. They have almost depleted their reserves of hydrogen, which fuels the reactions that occur during most of the life of a star. This causes the atmosphere of the star to expand enormously. Stars like HD 65750 burn a shell of helium outside a carbon-oxygen core, sometimes accompanied by a hydrogen shell closer to the star's surface.

Billions of years in the future, our Sun will also bloat into a red giant. It is expected that the solar atmosphere will inflate well beyond the current orbit of Earth, engulfing all the inner planets in the process. By then, Earth will be already in very bad shape. The huge increase of radiation and the strong stellar winds that will accompany the process of stellar inflation will destroy all life on Earth and evaporate the water in the oceans, before the entire planet is finally melted.

British astronomers Paul Murdin, David Allen and David Malin gave IC 2220 the nickname of the Toby Jug Nebula because of its shape, which is similar to an old English drinking vessel of a type called a Toby Jug with which they were familiar when young.

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HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (11) Oct 09, 2013
It would be interesting to further explore the underlying basis for "reflection nebulae". What astronomical observations are pointed to in order to claim that the light is reflected by dust grains, instead of a potential alternative explanation that the light might be emitted by the charged particles that the star is also expelling? After all, plasmas can exist within both arc and glow modes, and I wonder if it is the cosmology itself which is being used here to suggest the reflection inference ... ?
Q-Star
4.3 / 5 (4) Oct 09, 2013
It would be interesting to further explore the underlying basis for "reflection nebulae". What astronomical observations are pointed to in order to claim that the light is reflected by dust grains, instead of a potential alternative explanation that the light might be emitted by the charged particles that the star is also expelling?


It's called spectroscopy. I realize it's a brand-new, totally untested, poorly understood technology, so maybe ya haven't heard of it.

The spectroscopy techniques were developed just last week because none of the potential alternative explanations could explain it.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Oct 09, 2013
What are the spectroscopic principles which justify it? I have a large digital library of texts on spectroscopy. Can you name the principles for me so I can dig in further? ...
Q-Star
5 / 5 (5) Oct 09, 2013
What are the spectroscopic principles which justify it? I have a large digital library of texts on spectroscopy. Can you name the principles for me so I can dig in further? ...


The continuous spectrum of the star illuminating it,,,, and where emission and/or absorption lines appear on that spectrum. In a reflection nebula the light is bluer in color because the dust particles are about 500nm,,,,,, and since the material of the cloud is not hot enough to emit "blue" light, ergo, the "bluer" light detected is reflected light from the star. It's the exact same physics which makes our sky appear "bluer" or "redder" depending on the stuff in the atmosphere.

There is nothing controversial or questionable about it. It's very simple, and well understood physics. There are no other viable interpretations that fit the observations.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Oct 09, 2013
By the way, it's not entirely a guess that stellar envelopes can become self-illuminating. There are hints within the mythological archetypes that it can be so.

And, even ignoring that, it's a thought which deserves further attention by even mainstream scientists, for even within conventional theory, the circumstance where planets are circling brown dwarfs fully embedded within a highly electrical, illuminated envelope surrounding a brown dwarf star would exhibit all of the key characteristic features necessary for the formation of life. In particular, the fact that the envelope would be illuminated on all sides of the planet regardless of any planetary rotation would create an incredibly stable state for the formation of life.
HannesAlfven
1.1 / 5 (11) Oct 09, 2013
Re: "There are no other viable interpretations that fit the observations."

You wouldn't actually know that without investigating alternative worldviews. I'm guessing that you also fail to realize that the HR diagram can be alternatively explained with straightforward laboratory plasma physics principles ...

You know, your choice in what to read has an unavoidable impact upon your beliefs. Those who simply refuse to take a critical stance with regards to conventional theory are to be least believed when they claim that "there are no other viable interpretations". Your decision to only defend conventional theory necessarily dictates ignorance of competing interpretations. This is much more obvious than you and other defenders of conventional wisdom seem to realize. It obviously takes effort to learn any worldview -- be they conventional or not -- so to simply dismiss all competing models based on any competing worldview is pretending that there are no unconceived alternatives.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (10) Oct 09, 2013
After all, the problem of unconceived alternatives is in fact a philosophical problem which lacks any rote solution. It's deeply entangled with notions like creative and critical problem-solving, some of the highest order aspects of human thought possible which will almost certainly be solved dead-last by machine learning algorithms.

(BTW: I realize that philosophy is hardly in fashion right now in physics, but that doesn't mean that it has actually gone anywhere, or that it will never come back into public awareness. In fact, my prediction is that philosophy of science will definitively re-emerge as an incredibly useful means of rating contributions on scientific social networks. That's because creative and critical thinking absolutely require a healthy awareness of philosophy of science in order to be effective.)
Q-Star
4.3 / 5 (9) Oct 09, 2013
Re: "There are no other viable interpretations that fit the observations."

You wouldn't actually know that without investigating alternative worldviews. .


All objects have an intrinsic temperature. Are there "alternative worldviews" that posit that is not so?

Temperature is easily measured by spectroscopic observation. "Alternative worldviews"?

The temperature of a reflection nebula is directly observed by the continuous black-body spectrum of the nebula. "Alternative worldviews"?

The temperature of reflection nebulae shows that their continuous spectrum shows that they are in the 10's to 100 kelvins. "Alternative worldviews"?

The light observed in reflection nebulae is way up there in the visible + spectrum, and 100 kelvins won't produce it. "Alternative worldviews"?

The light is coming from some hot source,,,, maybe, just maybe, possibly it is coming from some very hot object? The sky is blue because it is hot or the sun?

Alternative worldviews are not science.
Q-Star
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 09, 2013
By the way, it's not entirely a guess that stellar envelopes can become self-illuminating. There are hints within the mythological archetypes that it can be so.


Okay, ya win, god did it, and everything is true. Nothing is false. If it's fun to think it, it is ultimate truth.
Captain Stumpy
1.4 / 5 (10) Oct 12, 2013
HannesAlfven said
You know, your choice in what to read has an unavoidable impact upon your beliefs


and this is true, especially when i read the following...

There are hints within the mythological archetypes


i stopped after mythological for a reason. this is a science site. not a mythology site.

After all, the problem of unconceived alternatives is in fact a philosophical problem


and so it continues...
not actually trying to be rude, but so far Q-Star has pointed me to DOZENS of places that i can get data, and that i can research and find empirical data, or that can be verified by empirical data.
Philosophy is nothing more than fancy semantics. trying to find the ultimate truth about the universe by thinking new ways up to word things only lasted until people found out that you could prove things through experimentation.
Captain Stumpy
1 / 5 (9) Oct 12, 2013


Captain Stumpy
1 / 5 (9) Oct 13, 2013
take good look at who downvoted that above blank post...

TROLLS

proof that they don't even bother to READ, just downvote ...

I am almost tempted to make an alias and vote 5's to everyone BUT the puppets and trolls!

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