Looking Down a Barrel of Gas at a Doomed Star

One of the most famous of all planetary nebulae. A dying star has thrown off some of its outer material thousands of years ago. The nebula is situated 2.000 light years away in the constellation Lyra.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest view yet of the most famous of all planetary nebulae: the Ring Nebula (M57). In this October 1998 image, the telescope has looked down a barrel of gas cast off by a dying star thousands of years ago. This photo reveals elongated dark clumps of material embedded in the gas at the edge of the nebula; the dying central star floating in a blue haze of hot gas. The nebula is about a light-year in diameter and is located some 2, 000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Lyra.

Credit:

Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA/ESA

)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo9901a
Type:Observation
Release date:6 January 1999, 06:00
Size:1215 x 1241 px

About the Object

Name:Ring Nebula
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary
• X - Nebulae Images/Videos
Distance:2500 light years
Constellation:Lyra

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
Heii
469 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
Oii
501 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
Nii
658 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

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