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Hubble reveals 'tadpoles' in space

April 16, 1996
Web posted at: 11:40 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- There are tadpole-shaped pods 100 billion miles long floating in space, photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope reveal.

The Space Telescope Science Institute unveiled the photographs Tuesday. It says the structures, called "cometary knots," are formed by the collision of different gases as they spew out of a dying star.

The cometary knots seen through Hubble come from a dying star in the Helix Nebula, 450 light years away from Earth. The star makes up part of the constellation Aquarius.

The most visible knots are along the inner edge of the ring. Their tails circle the star.

The cometary knots are not permanent features of the Nebula. Astronomers suspect the knots will eventually dissipate into space.

'cometary knots'

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