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MWC 922: The odd and beautiful Red Square Nebula

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posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 12:42 PM
Today, in APOD, there's an extraordinary picture that shows an unusual square nebula.

What could cause a nebula to appear square? No one is quite sure.

The hot star system known as MWC 922, however, appears to be embedded in a nebula with just such a shape. The above image combines infrared exposures from the Hale Telescope on Mt. Palomar in California, and the Keck-2 Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

A leading progenitor hypothesis for the square nebula is that the central star or stars somehow expelled cones of gas during a late developmental stage. For MWC 922, these cones happen to incorporate nearly right angles and be visible from the sides.
Supporting evidence for the cone hypothesis includes radial spokes in the image that might run along the cone walls.

Researchers speculate that the cones viewed from another angle would appear similar to the gigantic rings of supernova 1987A, possibly indicating that a star in MWC 922 might one day itself explode in a similar supernova.

Original Source (with great explanations and animated GIFs): Physics Usyd Edu
edit on 16-12-2012 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by elevenaugust

That is a cool picture
, although it could just be a promo for the X factor

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 01:03 PM
So awesome!!!

It looks like some sort of a portal/, once you step inside the white part of the square bam you are somewhere else.

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 01:09 PM

Thanks for sharing!

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 01:11 PM
I dub thee "HourGlass Nebula"

Awesome pic!

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 01:14 PM
reply to post by elevenaugust

Cool picture...

Kind of reminds me of the descriptions people give when they die.. The light at the end of the tunnel.

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by elevenaugust


Looks like a portal or something.

reply to post by PurpleVortex

Haha, great minds think alike

edit on 16-12-2012 by iamhobo because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 10:20 AM
It does look like some sort of portal. I wonder what would be on the other side?

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