The Picture of X-Shaped Red Rectangle Nebula Taken by NASA: It’s spectacular!

NASA has released a photo of a nebula obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope that appears to be a deep space tunnel. The nebula is made up of the outer layers of a dying star called HD 44179, which has been shedding them for roughly 14,000 years.

The Red Rectangle Nebula is located around 2,300 light-years from Earth, in the Monoceros constellation, which means “unicorn” in Latin. It can be found in the northern sky.

According to NASA, the Red Rectangle will likely expand into a planetary nebula in a few million years as one of the core stars becomes more depleted of nuclear fuel.

The star appears to be identical to the Sun, but it is dying and emitting gas and other stuff, giving it a peculiar shape. The star is encircled by a remarkable structure known as the Red Rectangle, so named because of its shape and apparent color when viewed from Earth.

The nebula, however, seems to be an “X” with spaced bands of luminous gas divided by rungs when recorded by the Hubble telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into space on the shuttle Discovery in April 1990. It has acquired enigmatic photographs of outer space since then.

The brightness of the Red Rectangle nebula is peculiar, and its composition provides philosophical fodder. The X-shape indicates that something is preventing the star’s atmosphere from expanding uniformly, which is why it is still a hot area of investigation.

When was X-Shaped Nebula First Discovered?

The Red Rectangle was first discovered during a rocket flight in the early 1970s, during which astronomers were searching for strong sources of infrared radiation. And the name “Red Rectangle” was coined by astronomers Martin Cohen and Mike Merrill in 1973 before Hubble revealed the complex X-shape of the nebula. ESA had launched the Hubble Space Telescope jointly with NASA.

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