View Full Version : Discussion: Wallpaper: Bug Nebula

2004-Apr-29, 06:05 PM
SUMMARY: Here's a 1024x768 desktop wallpaper of The Bug Nebula (a.k.a. NGC 6302) taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. It's one of the brightest and most extreme planetary nebulae ever discovered. At the heart of the nebula is one of the hottest stars known in the Universe; yet it's surrounded by a blanket of icy material. It's believed that the material from the nebula was expelled 10,000 years ago, but won't last long before it evaporates under the heat of the parent star.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2004-Apr-30, 09:51 AM
That is a very cool wallpaper but whyis it called a "Bug Nebula" why couldn't it be like Butterfly Nebula or something like that because that's what it does really look like. Well name doesn't really matter that much and I have one question how long is it expected to stay there?

2004-Apr-30, 09:43 PM
I, too, liked the image of "The Bug Nebula" but like Callisto, I wondered why it is called that! Itīs a fantastic image all the same - " a rose by any other name ... " (to quote Shakespeare).

2004-May-01, 09:41 PM
Thanks its my new wallpaper

Albert Zijlstra
2004-May-02, 04:14 PM
The name 'bug nebula' is perhaps unfortunate, but this is the established name
and as the originator of the press release I did not feel at liberty to change it.
And some bugs are spectacularly beautiful! 'Butterfly' is not a good name
because it is the name of a class of planetary nebulae, although this nebula is the
most impressive of the class. One could consider a particular butterfly
('lace wing' was suggested). The Guardian (UK) called it 'carapace'.


2004-May-02, 07:40 PM
Thanks Albert,

Beautiful image despite the name, what caught my attention was the mention of a doughnut shaped dust ring around the star. Doesn't a doughnut shape imply a highly active electric field? If I recall correctly our Sun and the Earth also have almost invisible doughnut shaped plasma rings around them. Also I believe it was the strange (extremely flat) star Achernar that was described as having a plasma torus.
Could this mean that the hotter the star the more pronounced it's torus?


2004-May-02, 11:44 PM
The cause of the torus is not known. Electric fields are not important but magnetic fields maybe. Rotation may be involved but stars which are shedding so much mass are unlikely to keep rotating. There may be a binary star which helps shape the ejecta, or even a large planet, especially if it gets swallowed up by the expanding star


2004-May-03, 08:25 AM
Thanks Albert,

Electric fields are not important but magnetic fields maybe

aren't electric fields necessary to generate magnetic fields? Anyway, if magnetic fields could be the cause of the torus shape, can this be measured in some way?