Astronomers in Chile Discover Huge Diamond Engagement Ring in Space; Things to Know About 'Celestial Gem'

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By Alyssa Ashley Lucas | April 10, 2014 3:46 PM EST

Love may be in outer space. A world brought closer by astronomers. Space doesn't fail to amaze us with its stunning phenomena and objects captured at its best.

ESO/Photo Release
The planetary nebula Abell 33 captured using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Atacama Desert, Chile on April 9, 2014.

Recently, astronomers in Chile give us another material to wonder about revealing an image that looks very similar to a huge "diamond engagement ring."

The European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) captured images of a beautiful diamond ring in Chile's Atacama Desert. Astronomers call what was captured on VLT as a kind of "celestial gem."

It is like a gem in space. The astronomers in Chile described the "celestial gem" as a diamond engagement ring, which is actually a "planetary nebula" known as Abell 33. ESO considers the captured gem as approximately 2,500 light years away from the Earth.

According to Astronomer Olivier Hainaut, a planetary nebula is a "dying star" and not a planet at all. Abell is like the sun, but it is about to die so its atmosphere is expanding, enabling the astronomers to capture a stunning blue bubble obviously similar to a diamond engagement ring.

"So what remains of the star is a little point that is right in the centre and this atmospheric bubble," astronomer Hainaut cited in Spanish.

Also, Hainut explained what the particular planetary nebula recently captured by the very large telescope is about. Hainut said the "celestial gem" is "particularly beautiful" because of its circular shape, which is actually a rare form of planetary nebulae.

"Planetary nebulae can come in strange shapes, more symmetric, this one is perfect. The perfection is beautiful, this case is a good example," Hainut said.

Abell 33 has this remarkable star located along the rim, which creates the illusion of a diamond ring.

"This is just a chance alignment - the star, named HD 83535, lies in the foreground of the nebula, between Earth and Abell 33, in just the right place to make this view even more beautiful. Together, HD 83535 and Abell 33 create a sparkling diamond ring," ESO noted.

According to ESO, Abell 33 is one of the 86 objects in the 1966 Abell Catalogue of Planetary Nebulae, owned by Astronomer George Abell.

SOURCE: Reuters/ESO

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(Photo: ESO/Photo Release / )
The planetary nebula Abell 33 captured using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Atacama Desert, Chile on April 9, 2014.
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