We have probably explained very little about the universe, than we would like to admit. With the help of the Hubble Space telescope, astronomers have spotted this strange spiral taken in near infrared light, and it remains a mystery.
Some astronomers guess that it might be a star circling another star in a binary star system entering the final days of its life. The star could be on the verge of exploding to form an interstellar cloud of gas and debris.
The final stage of a star’s life is called a planetary nebulae phase, and this atmosphere of this star may ejecting into surrounding space.
From the expansion rate of the spiral, scientists have surmised that a new layer must be appearing once every 800 years. This coincidently, is a close match to the time it takes for the two stars to orbit each other.
But they could be entirely wrong. Really your guess is as good as theirs. Maybe you can solve this mystery.
- Mysterious glowing spiral photographed in space by the Hubble Space Telescope (weinterrupt.com)
- Mysterious Glowing Spiral Sighted in a Remote Star System (africacallingtoday.wordpress.com)
- Hubble delivers sparkling views of spiral galaxy (photoblog.msnbc.msn.com)
- Arachnophobes beware: Hubble snaps close-up of the Tarantula (scienceblog.com)
- Arachnophobes beware: Hubble snaps close-up of the Tarantula (eurekalert.org)
- Hubble zooms in on a space oddity (eurekalert.org)
- Flocculent spiral NGC 2841 (eurekalert.org)
- Flocculent spiral NGC 2841 (scienceblog.com)