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Mz3 (Ant Nebula)


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Mz 3 (Menzel 3)
Planetary Nebula (惑星状星雲)
Ant Nebula (アリ星雲)
Nb PN

別名 (Other names)
Menzel 3, ESO 225-9, Chamber of Horrors

距離 (Distance)
8,000光年 (8,000 light-years)

星座 (Constellation)
じょうぎ座 (Nor) (Norma)

Ant Nebula (Mz3) is a planetary nebula located 8,000 light years from the Earth in the constellation Norma.

Mz3 (Ant Nebula) : Picture

Planetary Nebula Mz3: The Ant Nebula
Planetary Nebula Mz3: The Ant Nebula
(C) R. Sahai (JPL) et al., Hubble Heritage Team, ESA, NASA
Why isn't this ant a big sphere? Planetary nebula Mz3 is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun that is, surely, round. Why then would the gas that is streaming away create an ant-shaped nebula that is distinctly not round? Clues might include the high 1,000-kilometer per second speed of the expelled gas, the light-year long length of the structure, and the magnetism of the star visible above at the nebula's center. One possible answer is that Mz3 is hiding a second, dimmer star that orbits close in to the bright star. A competing hypothesis holds that the central star's own spin and magnetic field are channeling the gas. Since the central star appears to be so similar to our own Sun, astronomers hope that increased understanding of the history of this giant space ant can provide useful insight into the likely future of our own Sun and Earth.

Ant Nebula
Ant Nebula
(C) Hojoe & the ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator

Arctic Ant Nebula
Arctic Ant Nebula
(C) Mike Herbaut & the ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator
This image was created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator V2 and data downloaded from the HST WFPC2 data archive.

Ant Planetary Nebula
The Ant Planetary Nebula at 12.8 μm
(C) ESO
Image of the "Ant" Planetary Nebula (Mz3) in the narrow-band filter centred at wavelength 12.8 μm. The scale is 0.127 arcsec/pixel and the total field-of-view is 33 x 33 arcsec, with North at the top and East to the left. The total integration time was 200 seconds. Note the diffraction rings around the central star which confirm that the maximum spatial resolution possible with the 8.2-m telescope is being achieved.

A Disc in the Ant Nebula
A Disc in the Ant Nebula
(C) ESO
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer, astronomers have uncovered a disc in the heart of the Ant Nebula. The disc seems, however, too 'skinny' to explain how the nebula got its intriguing ant-like shape. The image on the right shows a previously taken image of the Ant Nebula, in the mid-infrared, with the VLT Imager and Spectrometer for the mid-InfraRed (VISIR). The image on the left shows a model of the dusty disc the astronomers uncovered with the MID-infrared Interferometric instrument (MIDI), which combined the light from two 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescopes. The lower part of the image representing the southern lobe is brighter, for this lobe is closer to our line-of-sight. The major axis of the flat, nearly edge-on disc is perpendicular to the axis of the bipolar lobes of the nebula. The disc extends from about 9 times the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun (9 Astronomical Units or 9 AU) to more than 500 AU.

Ant Planetary Nebula
High-Resolution Spectrum of the Ant Planetary Nebula around 12.8μm
(C) ESO
Reproduction of a high-resolution spectrum of the Ne II line (ionised Neon) at 12.8135 microns of the Ant Planetary Nebula, also known as Mz-3. The total integration time was 120 sec.

Ant Nebula Ant Nebula
Ant Nebula
(C) Hojoe & the ESA/ESO/NASA
Arctic Ant Nebula
(C) Mike Herbaut & the ESA/ESO/NASA
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