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Medusa nebula

Medusa nebula is a large planetary nebula located in Gemini.
It is also known as Sharpless 274.

medusa-nebula-space_71865_1

It was originally discovered in 1955 by UCLA astronomer George O. Abell, who classified it as an old planetary nebula. The braided serpentine filaments of glowing gas suggests the serpent hair of Medusa found in ancient Greek mythology.

medusa nebula


Until the early 1970s, the Medusa was thought to be a supernova remnant. With the computation of expansion velocities and the thermal character of the radio emission, Soviet astronomers in 1971 concluded that it was most likely a planetary nebula.
 

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