What is NGC 2899 Planetary Nebula?

Recently astronomers were able to capture very detailed and stunning image of a planetary nebula, it is called as NGC 2899. Let’s learn.

NGC 2899 Planetary Nebula?

Astronomers used the FORS or Focal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) to successfully capture a very vivid and most detailed picture of NGC 2899. Very Large Telescope is in northern Chile.

Click here to watch the 3D view of ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT)

Know Some Terminology


The life cycle of a star consists various stages.

A Nebula is defined as a giant cloud of dust and gas in space. Nebula is the pre-origin stage of a star, planet,comets etc.


Image Credit: NASA

Protostar is a stage of dust and gases that has not yet achieved the capacity of running hydrogen fusion and it is a pre-stage before a star is born.

Planetary Nebula When the outer shell of a giant star drifts off into space, it forms a Planetary Nebula. This stage is formed in the dying days of a star.

Planetary Nebula
Planetary Nebula

Image Credit

Neutron Stars are formed when a massive star runs out of nuclear energy and collapses.A neutron star is the densest space object astronomers can examine directly.

Pulsars are a type of Neutron star which radiate two steady and narrow beams of light in opposite directions. That is why pulsars are looked like flickering stars from the Earth. Pulsars are also known as magnetars.


Image Credit: NASA

Supernova: When the nuclear fuel of a star is completely exhausted,even the most massive stars explode in space,this phenomena is called a supernova.

Black Hole:If the core left behind after a supernova is massive enough then star loses its force of gravity and collapses to form black holes. A Black hole is so small and so dense that not even light can escape from its gravity.

Constellation is a name given to a group of stars in the sky that make up a certain geometric or imaginary pattern. Cassiopeia, Zdiac, Orion are few popular Constellation.

Milky way: The Milky Way is the galaxy which includes our Solar System. A galaxy is the group of few solar systems.

Do You Know?
The name of closest known nebula to Earth is Helix Nebula.
Know about NGC 2899 Planetary Nebula
  • NGC 2899 is a southern planetary nebula.
  • The Nebula is high surface brightness.
  • This Nebula is Bi-polar.
  • NGC 2899 is located between 3,000 and 6,500 light-years away in the constellation of Vela.
  • It is assumed that NGC 2899 has two central symmetric stars.
  • NGC 2899 is a part of vela constellation.
  • Only about 10-20% of this planetary nebulae exhibits specific bipolar shape.
  • NGC 2899 is popularly known as space butterfly due to its structural resemblance with butterfly.


Do You Know?
Indian astrophysicists have discovered a planetary nebula named “NGC 6302” using Ultra -Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) onboard AstroSat.
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