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
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week