13.04.2007 / 13:45 "Red square" Nebula's secrets revealed
NEW YORK. April 13. KAZINFORM. The next time you feel like everything is spinning out of control, remember that there are some things in the universe that are still in flawless order.
Infrared cameras at two observatories recently took this composite image of the Red Square Nebula, a rare cloud of dust and gas so symmetrical that a scientist deemed it "almost perfect."
Few other such nebula have been detectedamong them the Red Rectangle Nebula in the constellation Monocerosbut what causes the phenomena has been poorly understood.
Scientists say the new image shows the Red Square to be a bipolar nebula, with stellar winds blowing cone-shaped jets away from its hot central star.
The cloud's extreme symmetry also suggests that the star, known as MWC 922, is in a relatively calm corner of space, with little turbulence to disturb the formation.
Similar forces are probably what shaped the Red Rectangle, astronomers say, and there may be many more of these formations in space than had previously been believed, Kazinform quotes National Geographic News.
The astronomers who captured the imagePeter Tuthill of the University of Sydney and J.P. Lloyd of Cornell Universityreport their findings in tomorrow's issue of the journal Science.