Medusa Nebula, optical image

Medusa Nebula, optical image

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Credit: EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Restrictions: This image may not be used by or to promote the arms, nuclear power or tobacco industries or any religious organisation, or in any discriminatory way, or to imply the endorsement by ESO of any product, service or activity

Caption: Medusa Nebula, optical image. This remnant of a planetary nebula is also known as Abell 21 and Sharpless 2-274. A planetary nebula is an expanding glowing shell of gas that forms when changes in a star near the end of its life causes its outer layers to be blown violently outwards. The Medusa Nebula is around 1500 light years from Earth, in the constellation of Gemini. This image was obtained with the FORS2 (Focal Reducer and Low Dispersion Spectrograph) instrument on the ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Image released in May 2015.

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Keywords: 2015, abell 21, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, dust cloud, expanding shell, focal reducer and low dispersion spectrograph, fors, fors2, gas cloud, gemini, glowing gas, medusa nebula, nebulae, no-one, nobody, optical, planetary nebula, sharpless 2-274, space, star death, stellar evolution, universe, very large telescope, visible, vlt

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