Hubble images searchlight beams from a preplanetary nebula

Hubble images searchlight beams from a preplanetary nebula
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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Citation: Hubble images searchlight beams from a preplanetary nebula (2012, April 28) retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-hubble-images-searchlight-preplanetary-nebula.html
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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.

Apr 28, 2012
torus...

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.

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 ...

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?

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.

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!

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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