New Hubble images of the Ring Nebula reveal the Eye of Sauron

Illustration for article titled New Hubble images of the Ring Nebula reveal the Eye of Sauron

The Ring Nebula, a massive cloud of gas around a dying star, is one of the best-known celestial objects. Not only is it gorgeous, but it's easy to find in a telescope, even if you're an amateur. This new Hubble image is anything but backyard astronomy, however — and it's given astronomers a new understanding of the nebula's shape in space.

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According to NASA:

The Hubble images offer the best view yet of the nebula, revealing a complex structure. The observations have allowed astronomers to construct the most precise three-dimensional model of the glowing gas shroud, called a planetary nebula. Based on the new observations, the Hubble research team suggests that the ring wraps around a blue football-shaped structure that protrudes out of opposite sides of the ring. The nebula is tilted toward Earth so that astronomers see the ring face-on.

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Illustration for article titled New Hubble images of the Ring Nebula reveal the Eye of Sauron

Here is the full image — click to expand! Learn more on Hubblesite.

Illustration for article titled New Hubble images of the Ring Nebula reveal the Eye of Sauron

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DISCUSSION

SBM_from_LA
SBM_from_LA

I thought I read somewhere that almost all the photographs taken of space were mostly colorless and dull looking and that they are almost always edited with color added. Is that true?