Movie caption: Computer simulation showing how the nebula is expected to evolve over a period of about 9,000 years. Presently the nebula is just starting this process. The thumbnail above shows the process in nine, 1,000 year, steps. There is also a version of the movie that uses increments of 200 years.
NOAO scientists, using the Gemini Observatory 8-meter telescope in Chile, have obtained the highest resolution image ever obtained for the planetary nebula NGC 2346. Shaped like a butterfly, or an hourglass, but known scientifically as a bipolar planetary nebula, this object is at a distance of 2300 light years from our sun in the constellation Monoceros.
Dr. Katy Garmany
Deputy Press Officer
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
950 N Cherry Ave
Tucson AZ 85719 USA
Dr. Letizia Stanghellini