HST optical image of planetary nebula NGC 3918

HST optical image of planetary nebula NGC 3918


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Star death. Hubble space telescope (HST) optical image of a dying star surrounded by its planetary nebula. This planetary nebula (NGC 3918) is formed of gas and dust thrown off the surface of the dying central star (white dot). The older ejections form the spherical outer region, with newer ejections forming the brighter elongated oval shape. The material in the oval area is moving much faster than the outer material, and has blown out of the older shell at lower right, and is blowing out at upper left. NGC 3918 lies in the direction of the constellation of Centaurus. Data obtained on 10th March 1997.

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