MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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