Astronomers have been surprised by an unlikely trio of cosmic objects that have been visible for a short time. The bizarre triangle could be observed in the Big Dipper constellation: a green comet known as Atlas, the Owl Nebula, which is dominated by blue and the silvery Surfboard Galaxy. The elusive event was observed for a few hours, but researchers and enthusiasts have captured several images.
The Atlas comet has left the group as it continues to travel towards the sun. It is estimated that it will reach the orbit of Mercury in May 2020, a phenomenon that has been spotted in the case of other comets. Atlas has been compared to the Great Comet of 1844, which could be seen during the day as it got very close to the sun. Some voices argue that Atlas is, in fact, a remnant of the Great Comet, but at this point, there is no way to verify the theory.
Unexpected Alignment Surprises The Astronomers
Owl Nebula is a planetary nebula that is located at an impressive distance of 4,300 light-years away from Earth, within the Hydra galaxy. This type of nebula is created by an old star that has a mass, which is around eight times larger than that of our sun. Ultraviolet radiation is released by the core of the star, producing a glowing effect within a gas layer that is pushed forward. When the nebula reaches the final stages, the center will transform into a white dwarf that can continue to burn for millions of years.
The Surfboard Galaxy is located at a distance of almost 46 million light-years away. Astronomers have observed that it is one of the oldest galaxies that can be found in the universe, as it has an age of 13.27 billion years. Within the galactic center resides a supermassive black hole with a mass that is up to 24 million times bigger than that of the sun