Science

Hubble: The space telescope that told us the age of the universe and stars

A great space to work. Image: REUTERS/NASA/Handou

Douglas Broom

Senior Writer, Formative Content

Share:
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Science is affecting economies, industries and global issues
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Science

a picture of the hubble telescope
Into orbit: the Hubble Space Telescope is released from the Space Shuttle. Image: NASA
Have you read?
Discover

What is the Young Scientists Community?

a picture of jupiter
Jupiter’s great red spot seen by Hubble. Image: NASA
The interaction of two doomed stars has created this spectacular ring adorned with bright clumps of gas — a diamond necklace of cosmic proportions. Fittingly known as the Necklace Nebula, this planetary nebula is located 15 000 light-years away from Earth in the small, dim constellation of Sagitta (The Arrow). The Necklace Nebula — which also goes by the less glamorous name of PN G054.2-03.4 — was produced by a pair of tightly orbiting Sun-like stars. Roughly 10 000 years ago, one of the aging stars expanded and engulfed its smaller companion, creating something astronomers call a “common envelope”. The smaller star continued to orbit inside its larger companion, increasing the bloated giant’s rotation rate until large parts of it spun outwards into space. This escaping ring of debris formed the Necklace Nebula, with particularly dense clumps of gas forming the bright “diamonds” around the ring. The pair of stars which created the Necklace Nebula remain so close together — separated by only a few million kilometres — that they appear as a single bright dot in the centre of this image. Despite their close encounter the stars are still furiously whirling around each other, completing an orbit in just over a day.  The Necklace Nebula was featured in a previously released Hubble image, but now this new image has been created by applying advanced processing techniques, making for a new and improved view of this intriguing object. The composite image includes several exposures from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3.
The interaction of two doomed stars, seen by Hubble, caused this ring of light and gas. Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA, K. Noll
a picture of a nebular
Quasar – Hubble’s successor the James Webb space telescope will study their origins. Image: NASA
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
ScienceSpaceDigital Communications
Share:
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Researchers discover a part of the brain that monitors for infections and inflammation

Mark Michaud

January 26, 2023

46:17
About Us
Events
Media
Partners & Members
Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2023 World Economic Forum