Headlines > News > Picture of the Day - A Chameleon Sky

Picture of the Day - A Chameleon Sky

Published by Matt on Mon Sep 6, 2010 2:04 pm via: NASA
Share
More share options
Tools
Tags

The sands of time are running out for the central star of this the Hourglass Nebula. With its nuclear fuel exhausted, this brief, spectacular, closing phase of a sun-like star’s life occurs as its outer layers are ejected and its core becomes a cooling, fading white dwarf.

The sands of time are running out for the central star of this the Hourglass Nebula. Credit: NASA, WFPC2, HST, R. Sahai and J. Trauger (JPL)

The sands of time are running out for the central star of this the Hourglass Nebula. Credit: NASA, WFPC2, HST, R. Sahai and J. Trauger (JPL)

In 1995, astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to make a series of images of planetary nebulae, including the one above. Here, delicate rings of colorful glowing gas (nitrogen-red, hydrogen-green, and oxygen-blue) outline the tenuous walls of the ‘hourglass.’ The unprecedented sharpness of Hubble’s images revealed surprising details of the nebula ejection process and may resolve the outstanding mystery of the variety of complex shapes and symmetries of planetary nebulae.

No comments
Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use