The image: NASA has just released a photograph that’s sure to have astronomy-minded divas around the world swooning: A glittering "necklace" that’s 12 trillion miles wide. The celestial phenomenon, a glowing cloud made up of gas and dust, is called a nebula. This particular nebula — appropriately named the Necklace Nebula — was created after two stars began to orbit around one another. When the larger star expanded and engulfed the smaller star, the larger one began rotating so fast that it spun off glowing gas from around its equator, producing a "dazzling" circular nebula. (See the image, below and at right.)
The reaction: "Talk about bling!" says Space.com. In the photo, taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the two orbiting stars are shown as one bright dot in the center of the necklace. Hydrogen gas shimmers blue, while oxygen shows up as a green glow, and nitrogen sparkles in red. But don’t expect this necklace to show up at Tiffany’s anytime soon — it’s located in the constellation Sagitta some 15,000 light years away. "Still... that's one expensive-looking nebula," says io9.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Obama knows he can't really 'defeat' ISIS. Americans need to wake up to that reality, too.
- What political elites don't understand about Scotland's push for independence
- Is 'feminism' just another word for 'liberalism'?
- The U.S. dollar has been strengthening for 3 straight years! (That's not good news.)
Subscribe to the Week