Have you ever seen a big glowing diamond necklace, except the diamonds in this necklace are gas clumps and star debris, and the scale of the necklace is cosmic? On Friday, April 30, NASA released an image of this space beauty that will take your breath away. Known as ‘necklace nebula,’ this oasis of light in the dark and vast space has a backstory that will blow your mind.
15,000 light-years away from the Earth, a constellation named the Arrow is floating in vast space. About 10,000 years ago in this group of stars, an ageing star engulfed its nearest smaller star. The smaller stars, despite being almost inside its giant ageing mate, continue to orbit. This increased the rotation rate of the bloated big star causing explosions. These explosions tore apart large parts of the old star and the debris was everywhere around them in the space.
We’re starry-eyed by this diamond necklace of cosmic proportions! The Necklace Nebula is about 15,000 light-years away, and is located in the small, dim constellation of Sagitta.
— Hubble (@NASAHubble) April 30, 2021
Bound by the divine laws of gravity, the debris kept rotating the stars, forming a wonderful cosmic ‘necklace’ which you can see in the image. The surrounding clumps of gas give the debris its astonishing glow. The stars are so close that they just appear as a single bright dot in the image. Despite encountering each other so closely, they are fiercely whirling around each other finishing their orbits in a single earth day.
The first image of this space wonder was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope on July 2, 2011. The new image, however, “uses advanced processing techniques to create an improved and fresh view of this intriguing object,” according to NASA. The image was taken with multiple exposures using Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3.
Nebulae, which are massive clouds of stardust and gas, are created when a star dies diffusing its body into space. They take such shapes that fascinate human imagination. For example, you can look at this nebula known as ‘the pillars of creation. Or this one, which is called Helix Nebula but looks like a cosmic eyeball.