Pinwheel nebula

Pinwheel nebula

A pinwheel nebula is a nebulous region in the shape of a pinwheel.

Spiral galaxies

The term 'Pinwheel nebula' is an antiquated misnomer used by observers before Edwin Hubble realized that these spiral shaped nebulae were actually 'island universes'.

Wolf-Rayet nebulae

Some Wolf-Rayet stars are surrounded by pinwheel nebulae. These nebulae are formed from the dust that is spewed out of a binary star system. The stellar winds of the two stars collide and form two dust lanes that spiral outward with the rotation of the system.

External links

  • [1] Some Wolf-Rayet stars in binaries are close enough that we can image a rotating "pinwheel nebula" showing the dust generated by colliding winds in the binary system, from Aperture Masking Interferometry observations.
  • Pinwheel Galaxy from ESA/Hubble