Astronomy: Stunning ‘Butterfly Nebula’ From Hubble Space Telescope


This celestial object looks like a delicate butterfly. But it is far from serene. What resemble dainty butterfly wings are actually roiling cauldrons of gas heated to nearly 20 000 degrees Celsius. The gas is tearing across space at more than 950 000 kilometres per hour — fast enough to travel from Earth to the Moon in 24 minutes! A dying star that was once about five times the mass of the Sun is at the centre of this fury. It has ejected its envelope of gases and is now unleashing a stream of ultraviolet radiation that is making the cast-off material glow. This object is an example of a planetary nebula, so-named because many of them have a round appearance resembling that of a planet when viewed through a small telescope. The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a new camera aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, snapped this image of the planetary nebula, catalogued as NGC 6302, but more popularly called the Bug Nebula or the Butterfly Nebula.

WFC3 was installed by NASA astronauts in May 2009, during the Servicing Mission to upgrade and repair the 19-year-old Hubble. NGC 6302 lies within our Milky Way galaxy, roughly 3800 light-years away in the constellation of Scorpius. The glowing gas is the star’s outer layers, expelled over about 2200 years. The “butterfly” stretches for more than two light-years, which is about half the distance from the Sun to the nearest star, Proxima Centauri. The central star itself cannot be seen, because it is hidden within a doughnut-shaped ring of dust, which appears as a dark band pinching the nebula in the centre. The thick dust belt constricts the star’s outflow, creating the classic “bipolar” or hourglass shape displayed by some planetary nebulae. The star’s surface temperature is estimated to be over 220 000 degrees Celsius, making it one of the hottest known stars in our galaxy. Spectroscopic observations made with ground-based telescopes show that the gas is roughly 20 000 degrees Celsius, which is unusually hot compared to a t

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Views: Candela C7 – The World’s First Electric Hydrofoil Boat (Video)

At the recent Cannes Yachting Festival, MBY editor Hugo Andreae took the helm of the Candela C-7, the world’s first foiling electric boat, for the flight of a lifetime… Candela C-7 specifications LOA: 25ft 3in (7.7m) Beam: 7ft 10in (2.4m) Weight: 1,300kg Motor: 55kW Torqeedo Battery: 40kWh Lithium Ion Top speed: 30 knots Range: 50nm @ 22knots +8nm @ 5knots Wave height: Up to 1.1m Draft: 0.7m (foils lifted) 1.5m (foils down) Foiling capacity: 800kg

Views: Exploring Europe’s Grand Canyon – The Tara River Gorge, Montenegro

Despite it being known as Europe’s Grand Canyon, most people have not heard of the Tara River Gorge yet. At 1,300 meters depth, it’s the deepest canyon in Europe, and in the same league as its more famous counterpart in the US. The Tara River Gorge is a paradise for rafting fans and nature enthusiasts. Large parts of the canyon are part of the Durmitor National Park in Montenegro, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Euromaxx reporter Hendrik Welling sets out to explore the Tara River Gorge on the water, the peaks, and dangling in the air on a zip line. It’s not only exciting, there are also some stunning views to catch!

Road Trips: Mortitzburg Castle, Wine & Museums In Saxony, Eastern Germany

Tune in for our new series with reporter Hannah Hummel! In summertime she hit the German road in a special, electric car – the VW Beetle Cabrio! Hannah shows you some highlights of the eastern-German state of Saxony: Moritzburg Castle, a vineyard on the banks of the Elbe river, and the Karl May Museum in the town of Radebeul. The German author liked to imagine tales of the old Wild West, and is one of the most-read writers in the world. Take a romantic trip with Hannah through one of Germany‘s most idyllic regions.

City Views: London – Capital Of England (8K)

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city. 

Nature: Belize Converts Debt To Protect 30% Of Its Coral Atolls, Barrier Reef

The Belize Barrier Reef System features three of four coral atolls in the Atlantic, lush mangrove forests, numerous offshore islands, and one of the most extensive seagrass areas in the Caribbean. It hosts 77 species listed as threatened by the IUCN, including a sizeable population of West Indian Manatees.

Now, Belize has reaffirmed its environmental leadership by becoming the first country in the Americas to finalize a debt conversion for ocean conservation—and one that represents an impact investment for marine protection that’s unprecedented in scale. This commitment will enable Belize to restructure approximately US$550 million of external commercial debt—an amount that represents 30 percent of the country’s GDP—and reduce the national debt by 12 percent.

Views: Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada (4K)

A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, Banff is also Canada’s oldest national park and one of its most popular. Encompassing 6,641 square kilometer of pristine alpine wilderness, the park sits in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and is home to some of North America’s most spectacular scenery. Emerald lakes, snowcapped peaks, waterfalls, glaciers and rich forest provide the backdrop to a wealth of wildlife.

Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest national park, established in 1885. Located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, 110–180 kilometres west of Calgary, Banff encompasses 6,641 square kilometres of mountainous terrain, with many glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes.

Lake Views: The Eibsee In Bavaria, Germany (4K)

Eibsee is a lake in Bavaria, Germany, 9 km southwest of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and roughly 100 km southwest of Munich. It is at the northerly base of the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. 

Known as the Carribean of Bavaria, this lake in Germany has 8 unusual Islands and it is absolutely breath taking.

Saturday Morning: News And Stories From London

Georgina Godwin covers the weekend’s biggest discussion topics with political communications specialist Simon Brooke. Plus, Monocle’s editor in chief Andrew Tucks shares his thoughts in his Saturday column and Andrew Mueller reflects on the week’s stranger stories.