|Why is this nebula so complex?
When a star like our Sun is dying, it will cast off its outer layers, usually into a simple overall shape.
Sometimes this shape is a
sphere, sometimes a
double lobe, and sometimes a
ring or a
In the case of planetary nebula
however, no such simple structure has emerged.
To help find out why, the Earth-orbiting
Hubble Space Telescope
recently observed NGC 5189 in great detail.
indicated the existence of multiple epochs of material outflow,
including a recent one that created a bright but distorted
across image center.
Results appear consistent with a hypothesis that the
is part of a binary star system with a
precessing symmetry axis.
Given this new data, though, research is sure to continue.
NGC 5189 spans about three light years and lies about 3,000 light years
away toward the southern constellation of the Fly
Hubble Heritage Team