|The Ant Nebula (Mz 3)|
|Image Credit: NASA, ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)|
Acknowledgment: R. Sahai (Jet Propulsion Lab), B. Balick (University of Washington)
This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of the so-called “Ant Nebula” (Menzel 3 or Mz 3).
The Ant Nebula is about 1.6 light-years long and it is located between 3,000 and 6,000 light years from Earth in the southern constellation Norma, in the Milky Way Galaxy. It resembles the head and thorax of an ant even when observed with ground-based telescopes.
The shape of this celestial body creates a problem for evolutionist scientists: it is hard if not impossible for them to explain the formation of this nebula with the help of current theories (for a brief description of these theories see The Stingray Nebula).
A NASA astronomer says “Why isn’t this ant a big sphere? Planetary nebula Mz3 is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun that is, surely, round. Why then would the gas that is streaming away create an ant-shaped nebula that is distinctly not round?” (see NASA article Astronomy Picture of the Day)
Two unlikely hypotheses were formulated to explain the unusual shape of this nebula (see NASA JPL article PIA04216: Ant nebula):
“Although the ejection of gas from the dying star in the Ant Nebula is violent, it does not show the chaos one might expect from an ordinary explosion, but instead shows symmetrical patterns. One possibility is that the central star has a closely orbiting companion whose gravitational tidal forces shape the outflowing gas. A second possibility is that as the dying star spins, its strong magnetic fields are wound up into complex shapes like spaghetti in an eggbeater. Electrically charged winds, much like those in our Sun’s solar wind but millions of times denser and moving at speeds up to 1,000 kilometers per second (more than 600 miles per second) from the star, follow the twisted field lines on their way out into space.”
The originator of these explanations probably never experimented with spaghettis of different colors to see if they can wound up into a shape similar to that of the Ant Nebula’s. As for us, we believe that every reasonable person with some common sense should be able to recognize that this structure in cosmos is the handiwork of God and could have never came about by chance.
“The heavens declare the glory of God” – What does the Bible say about the origin of the Sun, the Moon and the stars?
This image and many other spectacular NASA and ESA photos (see NSSDC Photo Gallery, STScI‘s Hubble Images and Hubble Heritage, JPL Planetary Photojournal, ESA Multimedia Gallery) may be freely used for non-commercial/any purposes with the condition of indicating the source (see copyright notices on the above web sites for details). Pictures showing visible order and design in space bear witness of God’s existence and could be used by Christians in support of the Gospel message.