Scientists reveal unexpected structure of Southern Ring Nebula: ‘We were surprised’

a small bright blue point in the center is surrounded by exploding gas, hued red then diminishing to green before fading into the black of space.

The glorious, billowing Southern Ring Nebula is the cocoon of a dying star, and it has a secret. Scientists have found that this nebula has a double ring structure that shows not one, but possibly three stars at its heart. The Southern Ring Nebula, also designated NGC 3132, is a planetary nebula located about 2,000 … Read more

What are Polk’s most gator-infested lakes? You might be surprised

An alligator sunbathing in Lake Kissimmee east of Lake Wales in 2012.

Polk County residents are no strangers to alligators. Apparently they inhabit all holes filled with water. More than 1 million alligators call the state of Florida home, but where do they live? Each year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission takes a census of 50 alligator-infested sites in Florida to assess how many alligators … Read more