NASA / ESA / STSCI / HUBBLE SM4 ERO TEAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / HUBBLE SM4 ERO TEAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Butterfly planetary nebula (NGC 6302), Hubble Space Telescope image. This is a bipolar planetary nebula, a glowing shell of gas cast off by a star near the end of its life. Red areas are nitrogen gas, the coolest gas visible here, white areas are sulphur. The star at the centre of this nebula was very large, with a mass of around five times that of the Sun. This planetary nebula, some 3800 light years from Earth, is located in the constellation Scorpius. Image obtained on 27 July 2009 by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) as part of the Hubble Servicing Mission 4 Early Release Observations (SM4 ERO).
Model release not required. Property release not required.