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'Red Rectangle' in Space Vexes Scientists

'Red Rectangle' in Space Vexes Scientists

NASA has released a new image of a notorious object in space, known as the 'Red Rectangle,' that has proven to be a puzzle to astronomers for decades.

Discovered in 1973, the enigmatic nebula earned its name due to its color and shape which defied explanation by scientists.

A cloud of gas and dust orbiting a dying star, the Red Rectangle was partially deciphered in 2007 when researchers determined the chemical process that caused its color.

The reason for its remarkably-structured shape has remained elusive, although the new Hubble image provides previously unseen details of the nebula which may help solve the mystery.

Most notably, the space agency says, is the now-clear indication that the cloud has taken on an 'X' shape that rather than the rectangular illusion which originally spawned the object's name.

They attribute the nebula's symmetric shape to waves of debris coming from its central star that collect in waves throughout the cloud.

Undoubtedly, additional insights into the famed 'rectangle' will likely be forthcoming once experts can examine the data gleaned from the Hubble release.

Source: Space.com

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