Hubble images shed new light on planetary nebulae

Researchers from Green Bank Observatory and the Rochester Institute of Technology shed new light on nebula formation process

On top is an image of the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2019 and released in 2020. Further analysis by researchers produced the RGB image on the bottom, which shows extinction due to dust, as inferred from the relative strength of two hydrogen emission lines, as red; emission from nitrogen, relative to hydrogen, as green; and emission from iron as blue. Credit: STScI, APOD/J. Schmidt; J. Kastner (RIT) et al.

Images of two iconic planetary nebulae taken by the Hubble Space Telescope are revealing new information about how they develop their dramatic features. Researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology and Green Bank Observatory presented new findings about the Butterfly Nebula (NGC 6302) and the Jewel Bug Nebula (NGC 7027) at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society on Friday, January 15th.


Milky Way’s Defensive Halo Blocks Incoming Gas Cloud

Composite image created by Kat Barger, with GBT data represented in orange, using the Milky Way Panorama in the background (background image credit ESO/S. Brunier.)

How are galaxies able to keep forming stars and planets? Astronomers from Texas Christian University are using the Green Bank Telescope to reveal more about this process, studying high-velocity clouds that are being pulled into our Milky Way galaxy by its gravitational pull.


More than Meets the Eye: Complete Imaging of Cluster Collision

Image credit: PI Nobuhiro Okabe; Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan/HSC-SSP collaboration; National Science Foundation/Green Bank Observatory/Green Bank Telescope; European Space Agency/XMM-Newton/XXL survey consortium.

An international team of astronomers using the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in Green Bank, West Virginia, has captured a snapshot of a giant cosmic collision. This composite image was created using radio, X-ray, and optical data collected with the MUSTANG-2 receiver on the GBT, the European Science Agency’s (ESA) XMM-Newton Satellite, and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s (NAOJ) Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.