A tempestuous relationship between an unlikely pair of stars may have created an oddly shaped, gaseous nebula that resembles an hourglass nestled within an hourglass.
The possible creators of these shapes cannot be seen at all in this Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 image. It’s a pair of aging stars buried in the glow of the tiny, central nebula.
Credit: Romano Corradi, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain; Mario Livio, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.; Ulisse Munari, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova-Asiago, Italy; HugoSchwarz, Nordic Optical Telescope, Canarias, Spain; andNASA/ESA