The Blue Ring Nebula blinded scientists: after 16 years they were able to reveal its secret

The secret of the Blue Ring Nebula revealed

Over the past 16 years, the astronomers from around the world have been observing the dazzling Blue Ring nebula. They tried to find out what is the cause of that extraordinary glow. Over the years, the scientists discovered the secret. They build their assumptions a new evidence associated with the discovery of the mysterious fluorescent clouds of the Blue Ring nebula. The central star, TYC 2597-735-1, is located in the nebula.

It is surrounded by an extraordinary ultraviolet ring, it was first observed in 2004. For that, the now defunct NASAGalaxy Evolution Explorer telescope (GALEX) was used. To nowadays, the image of the ring that is actually an invisible ultraviolet glow, remained a mystery.

Mark Seibert, an astrophysicist at the Carnegie Institute of Science, says the obscure behavior of the nebula's ring puzzled his colleagues, who are doing their best to understand what is happening. It is believed that the nebula may have formed as a result of the collision of hot stars. As a result, a large amount of hot debris was thrown into space. They could form a ring around the central star, creating a cone shape, the base of which turned out to be oriented towards the Earth.

That cone contains glowing hydrogen molecules, and forms another ring extending in the form of clouds in the opposite direction. The bases of these clouds appear to have been ripped apart, creating a ring around the star.

According to the results of a new study, the scientists concluded that clouds of glowing debris could have formed as a result of a collision of a star, similar to the Sun, with a smaller stellar companion and an absorption process just a few thousand years ago.

And it is these observations that record an unprecedented evolutionary phase of a collision of stars. The astronomers believe that the Blue Ring Nebula represents a late stage of transient events. The dust around the nebula scattered and the scientists have a good overview for observing the mysterious space object now.