Hubble Captures Fading of the Stingray Nebula

This video morphs archival data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to reveal that the nebula Hen 3-1357, nicknamed the Stingray nebula, has faded precipitously over just the past two decades. Witnessing such a swift rate of change in a planetary nebula is exceedingly rare, say researchers.

The video presents the Stingray nebula as it was observed by Hubble in 2016 and then fades to Hubble's view from 1996. When compared, these Hubble images show a nebula that has drastically dimmed in brightness and changed shape. Bright blue shells of gas near the centre of the nebula have all but disappeared, and the wavy edges that earned this nebula its aquatic-themed name are virtually gone. The young nebula no longer pops against the black velvet background of the distant Universe.


NASA, ESA, B. Balick (University of Washington), M. Guerrero (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía), and G. Ramos-Larios (Universidad de Guadalajara), M. Kornmesser (ESA/Hubble)

About the Video

Release date:3 December 2020, 16:00
Related releases:heic2020
Duration:20 s
Frame rate:25 fps

About the Object

Name:Stingray Nebula
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary



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