MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Star death. Artwork of the 'hourglass'-shaped planetary nebula known as MyCn18. The hourglass shape is thought to derive from the rapid expansion of stellar wind within an expanding cloud of material which is more dense at its equator than at its poles. This material has been ejected by the star as it reached the end of its life as a red giant. The bright white dot near the centre of the frame is the white dwarf remnant of the original star. Its off-centre position is thought to imply the existence of an unseen binary object. This image approximates to true colour.
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