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Hubble captured a view of the Necklace Nebula

A diamond necklace of cosmic proportions.

Using advanced processing techniques, Hubble created an improved and fresh view of an intriguing object, the Necklace Nebula. The nebula is located 15,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Sagitta.

Also known as PN G054.203.4, the nebula is produced by a pair of tightly orbiting Sun-like stars.

Roughly 10,000 years ago, one of the aging stars expanded and expanded its smaller companion, which some astronomers call a “common envelope.” The smaller star continued to orbit inside its larger partner, increasing the bloated giant rotation rate until large parts were ejected into space. This leftover ring of debris formed the necklace nebula.

The stars that created the nebula remain so close together – separated by only several million miles. In this image, both stars appear as a single bright dot in the center of this image. Despite their close encounter, the stars are still furiously whirling around each other, completing an orbit in just over a day.

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