Location: Constellation Cygnus
Coordinates: 21 02 18.27 +36 41 37.0
Distance: ~3,000 ly
Rapidly evolving protoplanetary nebula roughly one light year in diameter. Thick dust blocks the center star from view, while the dust shells further out reflect light from this star. It is thought that ring-shaped holes in the thick cocoon of dust, carved by jets coming from the star, let the beams of light emerge through the otherwise opaque cloud. The process by which stellar jets produce these holes is unknown, but one possibility is that there is a binary star system, rather than a single star, at the center of the nebula.
An electric discharge in a plasma cloud creates a double layer along its axis. Positive charge builds up on one side and negative charge on the other. A strong electric field exists between the sides and if enough current is applied the double layer glows, otherwise it is invisible and is described as “dark mode”.