September 13, 2011

Since soccer season is starting, we decided that today’s Cool Photo of the Week should be of a soccer ball in space! NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope captured this image of Kronberger 61, known as the "Soccer Ball" Nebula.

A nebula is a cloud of gas and dust in outer space. They occur when a star starts to die because it has run out of fuel. The outer layers of the star explode, giving off layers of gas that form a planetary nebula around the dying star. It gives off a fluorescent glow because of the intensity of the radiation from the star.

The Soccer Ball Nebula was discovered by an amateur astronomer over the summer, and scientists plan to watch it in hope of learning more about how planetary nebulas are formed.

Photo: Gemini Observatory / AURA

P.S. Do they call this the "Football Nebula" outside the United States? British, Canadian, Australian readers - someone comment and let me know! 


READERS: Are you wondering how to add your own "comment" to this blog? Click here for exact directions on how to add a comment so you can become one of our Seymour Science writers! We also want you to be safe and not share too much information when you write on this blog, so please take a minute to read about how to stay safe on the Internet. We love to hear from you, so give "comments" a try! 

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: science news, space, Cool Photo   •  Permalink (link to this article)   •  Share: