A Cosmic Hourglass

This week’s NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope Picture of the Week features an impressive portrait of M1-63, a beautifully captured example of a bipolar planetary nebula located in the constellation of Scutum (the Shield). A nebula like this one is formed when the star at its centre sheds huge quantities of material from its outer layers, leaving behind a spectacular cloud of gas and dust. 

It is believed that a binary system of stars at the centre of the bipolar nebula is capable of creating hourglass or butterfly-like shapes like the one in this image. This is because the material from the shedding star is funnelled towards its poles, with the help of the companion, creating the distinctive double-lobed structure seen in nebulae such as M1-63.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, L. Stanghellini

About the Image

Id:potw2106a
Type:Observation
Release date:8 February 2021, 06:00
Size:481 x 479 px

About the Object

Name:M1-63
Constellation:Scutum
Category:Nebulae

Image Formats

Large JPEG
62.6 KB
Screensize JPEG
122.8 KB

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141.6 KB
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257.2 KB
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353.4 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):18 51 30.96
Position (Dec):-13° 10' 37.07"
Field of view:0.32 x 0.32 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 47.7° left of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
Clear
200 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
Long pass
350 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
O III
502 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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