May 8, 2015

The Red Spider Nebula

Red Spider Nebula

Huge waves are sculpted in this two-lobed nebula some 3000 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius. This warm planetary nebula harbours one of the hottest stars known and its powerful stellar winds generate waves 100 billion kilometres high. The waves are caused by supersonic shocks, formed when the local gas is compressed and heated in front of the rapidly expanding lobes. The atoms caught in the shock emit the spectacular radiation seen in this image.

Image Credit: ESA & Garrelt Mellema
Explanation from:


  1. Amazing! So far away yet we are able to see and somewhat understand events that surround these beautiful images.