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SPACE
RTXH2HS 
December 17, 1997 
This view of the bipolar or "butterfly" nebula M2-9, containing a dying star, was released by NASA December... 
This view of the bipolar or "butterfly" nebula M2-9, containing a dying star, was released by NASA ..... 
This view of the bipolar or "butterfly" nebula M2-9, containing a dying star, was released by NASA December 17. The central star of M2-9 is known to be one of a very close pair which orbit one another at close distances, and astronomers suspect the gravity of one star pulls weakly bound gas from the surface of the other and flings it into a thin, dense disk which surrounds both stars and extends well into space. Scientists used to believe that most stars like our Sun began to die by throwing off a round shell of glowing gas, and then turned into burned-out brown dwarfs, but new pictures show nebulae in the shape of pinwheels, goblets, jet plumes and other shapes. Scientists theorize that the intricate patterns may be related to the old star's interactions with unseen companions such as planets, brown dwarfs or smaller stars. 
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