The mysterious ‘Garden-sprinkler’ nebula
There are many mysterious objects seen in the night sky which are not really well understood. For example, astronomers are puzzled by the "jets" emerging from planetary nebulae. However, the S-shaped jet from Henize 3-1475 is the most perplexing of all.
"Jets" are long outflows of fast-moving gas found near many objects in the Universe, such as around young stars, or coming from black holes, neutron stars, and planetary nebulae, for example. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has imaged the young planetary nebula Henize 3-1475 and its bizarre jet. Astronomers have nicknamed it the "Garden-sprinkler" Nebula.
The origin of jets in the Universe is unclear, but they appear to originate in small regions of space where even Hubble’s sharp vision cannot penetrate. To produce a jet, you require some sort of nozzle mechanism. So far, these theoretical "nozzles" remain hidden by dust that obscures our view of the centres of planetary nebulae.
Lars Lindberg Christensen | ESA
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