Planetary nebula

Planetary nebula

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Planetary nebula. Illustration depicting a planetary nebula. Planetary nebulae are shells of gas expelled by a dying star which is usually located at the nebula's centre. This gas is ionised by radiation from the central star, resulting in the gas giving off light. The name planetary nebula is misleading and arose because of the resemblance between these objects and planets as seen in early telescopes.

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Keywords: annulus, astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, explosion, main sequence star, nebula, planetary nebula, ring, science, star death, stellar, stellar evolution

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