Astronomers find ‘diamond engagement ring’ in space

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(CNN) — Planetary nebula Abell 33 has taken on romantic proportions.

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope has captured a spectacular image of a planetary nebula aligned with a star in such a way that it looks like a diamond engagement ring.

Abell 33 came from a star that’s going to become a white dwarf, which is one way that a star can evolve at the end of its life. White dwarfs are small, dense and hot, and they cool down over billions of years.

The star entering this last phase of its life blows off its atmosphere into space. This results in glowing gas clouds known as planetary nebulae, such as this one that looks like a round bubble or ring.

In the image, the original star appears in the center of the blue bubble. It is more luminous than our sun, and its ultraviolet radiation gives a glow to the ring of atmosphere that has been cast out. Scientists are not yet sure if it’s actually a double star or just a chance alignment in the image.

It’s not common for a planetary nebula to be as perfectly round as this one. The symmetry of a planetary nebula is usually disturbed — for example, by the way its star spins or if there are multiple stars in the system.

As for the “diamond” in this image, it’s a different star called HD 83535, which happened to align with the nebula in this image.

Abell 33 is about 2,500 light-years away, so no one will be coming near it anytime soon.

It’s as if the universe liked the star and put a ring on it.

By Elizabeth Landau

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2 comments

  • Babu G. Ranganathan (@bgrnathan)

    SCIENCE SHOWS THAT THE UNIVERSE CANNOT BE ETERNAL because it could not have sustained itself eternally due to the law of entropy (increasing net energy decay, even in an open system). Einstein showed that space, matter, and time all are physical and all had a beginning. Space even produces particles because it’s actually something, not nothing. Even time had a beginning! Time is not eternal.

    The law of entropy doesn’t allow the universe to be eternal. If the universe were eternal, everything, including time (which modern science has shown is as physical as mass and space), would have become totally entropied by now and the entire universe would have ended in a uniform heat death a long, long time ago. The fact that this hasn’t happened already is powerful evidence for a beginning to the universe.

    Popular atheistic scientist Stephen Hawking admits that the universe had a beginning and came from nothing but he believes that nothing became something by a natural process yet to be discovered. That’s not rational thinking at all, and it also would be making the effect greater than its cause to say that nothing created something. The beginning had to be of supernatural origin because natural laws and processes do not have the ability to bring something into existence from nothing. What about the Higgs boson (the so-called “God Particle”)? The Higgs boson does not create mass from nothing, but rather it converts energy into mass. Einstein showed that all matter is some form of energy.

    The supernatural cannot be proved by science but science points to a supernatural intelligence and power for the origin and order of the universe. Where did God come from? Obviously, unlike the universe, God’s nature doesn’t require a beginning.

    EXPLAINING HOW AN AIRPLANE WORKS doesn’t mean no one made the airplane. Explaining how life or the universe works doesn’t mean there was no Maker behind them. Natural laws may explain how the order in the universe works and operates, but mere undirected natural laws cannot explain the origin of that order. Once you have a complete and living cell then the genetic code and biological machinery exist to direct the formation of more cells, but how could life or the cell have naturally originated when no directing code and mechanisms existed in nature? Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM.

    WHAT IS SCIENCE? Science simply is knowledge based on observation. No one observed the universe coming by chance or by design, by creation or by evolution. These are positions of faith. The issue is which faith the scientific evidence best supports.

    Some things don’t need experiment or scientific proof. In law there is a dictum called prima facie evidence. It means “evidence that speaks for itself.”

    An example of a true prima facie would be if you discovered an elaborate sand castle on the beach. You don’t have to experiment to know that it came by design and not by the chance forces of wind and water.

    If you discovered a romantic letter or message written in the sand, you don’t have to experiment to know that it was by design and not because a stick randomly carried by wind put it there. You naturally assume that an intelligent and rational being was responsible.

    I encourage all to read my popular Internet articles: NATURAL LIMITS TO EVOLUTION and HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

    Visit my newest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION

    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. Bible/Biology)

    Author of popular Internet article, TRADITIONAL DOCTRINE OF HELL EVOLVED FROM GREEK ROOTS

    *I have given successful lectures (with question and answer period afterwards) defending creation before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities. I’ve been privileged to be recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis “Who’s Who in The East” for my writings on religion and science.