Optical CCD image of the planetary nebula NGC 1535

Optical CCD image of the planetary nebula NGC 1535

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Credit: DR RUDOLPH SCHILD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Optical CCD (Charge Coupled Device) image of the planetary nebula NGC 1535. Planetary nebulae are clouds of interstellar gas, mainly composed of hydrogen, ejected and then ionised by a central hot star. They are considered to represent the normal stage in the late evolution of stars with masses between 1 and 4 solar masses. In the planetary nebula phase the inner parts of the star suffer a gravitational contraction and as a counter-reaction the outer layers are ejected outwards. The nebula is then ionised and lit up by the compact central star which is here clearly visible. The other object in the nebula is a foreground star.

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Keywords: astronomy, cosmology, nebula, ngc 1535, planetary, planetary nebula, science, star death, stellar

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