Hubble frames a unique red rectangle
|The star HD 44179 [Credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA]|
The Red Rectangle is an unusual example of what is known as a proto-planetary nebula. These are old stars, on their way to becoming planetary nebulae. Once the expulsion of mass is complete a very hot white dwarf star will remain and its brilliant ultraviolet radiation will cause the surrounding gas to glow. The Red Rectangle is found about 2,300 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros (the Unicorn).
The High Resolution Channel of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys captured this view of HD 44179 and the surrounding Red Rectangle nebula—the sharpest view so far. Red light from glowing Hydrogen was captured through the F658N filter and colored red. Orange-red light over a wider range of wavelengths through a F625W filter was colored blue. The field of view is about 25 by 20 arcseconds.
Source: NASA [April 11, 2016]