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Southern Crab Nebula

Southern Crab Nebula (Space)

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The Southern Crab Nebula or Hen2-104 is a nebula located, as seen from Earth, in the constellation Centaurus, but it is actually several thousand light years from our planet. Its central star is a symbiotic Mira variable - white dwarf pair.

The adjective "southern" distinguishes it from the Crab Nebula, which is in the northern sky. From Earth, it looks like the body and legs of a crab and also somewhat like an hourglass.

The nebula had already been observed using Earth-based telescopes, but images (wallpaper) taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (shown) in 1999 (21 years ago) have provided much more detail, revealing that at the center of the nebula are a pair of stars, a red giant and a white dwarf.


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