Boomerang Nebula is said to be the coldest location in the universe at one degree (-458 degrees). It's colder than the background space and astronomers call it as a planetary nebula whereas it has nothing to do with planets. The coldest spot in the universe is located 5000 light years away. This coldest spot i.e. Boomerang Nebula is formed due to the outer flow of gas from its core where a star is in the last stage. The star sheds its mass which releases a starlight illuminating dust in Nebula.
Millimeter scale dust grains are present at the nebula’s center so most escaping visible light is in two opposite lobes forming a different hourglass shape as seen from Earth. The outgoing gas is moving outwards at a speed of around 164km/s creating rapid expansion of movement out into the space, this gas expansion results in the unusual low temperature in Universe. The name “Boomerang Nebula” was given by Keith Taylor and Mike Scarrott in 1980 after viewing it at Siding Spring Observatory with the Anglo-Australian telescope. Though it was not clearly viewed, the telescopes originally showed the Boomerang to be asymmetrical providing a curved shape to it. The nebula’s photograph was took by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1998 portraying a more organized hourglass shape.
By: Swati Kaushal