Blue Ring Nebula

Blue Ring Nebula

Located 6,300 light-years away in the constellation Hercules, the Blue Ring Nebula is thought to be a short-lived phase after the merger of two stars. As debris from the stellar merger was blown outward, it led to the creation of a shock front, in which hydrogen atoms were excited and induced to glow with visible light, shown in pink. The shock front, and a reverse shock wave moving inward from the shock front, also caused hydrogen molecules (as opposed to atoms) to become excited and glow with ultraviolet light, indicated in blue.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Seibert (Carnegie Institution for Science)/K. Hoadley (Caltech)/GALEX Team

Release Date

November 18, 2020

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