Butterfly Nebula - Hubble Telescope shot - Framed Picture - 20"H x 16"W
A 20"H x 16"W" framed picture of Butterfly Nebula - Hubble Telescope shot
NGC 6302, also called the Bug Nebula, Butterfly Nebula, is a bipolar planetary nebula in the constellation Scorpius. The structure in the nebula is among the most complex ever observed in planetary nebulae. The spectrum of NGC 6302 shows that its central star is one of the hottest stars in the galaxy, with a surface temperature in excess of 200,000 K, implying that the star from which it formed must have been very large
The central star, a white dwarf, was only recently discovered, using the upgraded Wide Field Camera 3 on board the Hubble Space Telescope. It is surrounded by a particularly dense equatorial disc composed of gas and dust. This dense disc is postulated to have caused the star's outflows to form a bipolar structure similar to an hour-glass. This bipolar structure shows many interesting features seen in planetary nebulae such as ionization walls, knots and sharp edges to the lobes.
As it is included in the New General Catalogue, this object has been known since at least 1888. The earliest known study of NGC 6302 is by Edward Emerson Barnard, who drew and described it in 1907.
It featured in some of the first images released after the final servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope in September 2009.