Couldn't find element LayerAd

Error finding content

Hubble Adds a New Dimension to Nebula - Windows to the Universe
This is an image of the Ring Nebula, looking as if from the end of a barrel.
Click on image for full size
Hubble Space Telescope image courtesy of STScI

Hubble Adds a New Dimension to Nebula
News story originally written on January 7, 1999

Scientists have used the Hubble Space Telescope to take a closer look at the Ring Nebula (also known as M57). The nebula was discovered over two hundred years ago but scientists have found something new. It's not really a ring--it's a cylinder that we see from the end.

"My astronomy books taught me that it was a round sphere of expanding gas," recalls Howard Bond, an astronomer for the Heritage Project.

The cylinder was formed from material ejected from a dying star. The material first formed a ring around the star, which slowed down new material trying to expand. The easiest way for the material to leave was through the open areas above and below the ring. This continued and created the cylinder-shape that the nebula has today.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Our online store includes fun classroom activities for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Cool It! Game

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

1999--A Year in Review...

It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more

Comet Probe Mission is Scrapped

A mission that would have sent a probe to comet Tempel 1 has been postponed indefinitely. This mission, the first of it's kind, would have landed on the comet in 2005. Unfortunately, other projects have...more

STS-95 Launch: "Let the wings of Discovery lift us on to the future."

The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more

Moon Found Orbiting Asteroid

A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more

U.S. is Fed Up with Russia

Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more

More on Recent Coronal Mass Ejection

During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more

Mother Nature's Air Conditioning

J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF