Space Gets an Extraordinary ‘Diamond Engagement Ring’

Astronomers have observed a phenomenon that makes it appear as if there’s a giant diamond engagement ring floating in space.

Astronomers have observed a phenomenon that makes it appear as if there’s a giant diamond engagement ring floating in space.

It’s really the combination of a very symmetrical planetary nebula known as Abell 33, and a perfectly situated star.

The gaseous orb that makes the band is part of a dying star that’s on the verge of becoming a white dwarf.

Before expiring stars reach the dwarf phase in which they become hot, dense, and small, they rid themselves of their atmosphere.

In this case, the purging process formed a circle that’s given a pronounced glow by the ultraviolet radiation the dying orb is giving off.

Astronomers note how rare it is for a nebula to be so perfectly round.

Typically, there’s some sort of interruption during the atmosphere-shedding process and nebulae end up being oddly shaped.

To gain insights into the mystery, they’ll have to continue to stargaze through the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope.

The perfect little cosmic gem is about 25 hundred light years from Earth.