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May 23 2013

The glory & structure of planetary nebula

A schematic of an iconic celestial object. To see it in full visible wavelength glory, go below the fold.

A schematic of an iconic celestial object. To see what it is, and a couple of other amazing nebula cousins, in full visible wavelength glory, go below the fold.

HiRes

EskimoNeb

The Eskimo Nebula give a preview of what kind of glorious spectacle our sun might transform into in its old age.

The reconstructed structure of the Eskimo Nebula revealing the classic two-lob stellar remnant.

The reconstructed structure of the Eskimo Nebula revealing the classic two-lob stellar remnant.

Perhaps the most exquisite planetary nebula of all: the Cat's Eye.

Perhaps the most exquisite planetary nebula of all: the Cat’s Eye.

The same Cat's Eye in wide view optical wavelengths showing the golden halo surrounding the multihued jewel at its center.

The same Cat’s Eye in wide view optical wavelengths showing the golden halo surrounding the glittering multihued jewel at its center. Note the image appears inverted from the one above and below.

Complex structure of the factors at work in the center of the Cat's Eye Nebula

Complex structure of the factors at work in the center of the Cat’s Eye Nebula

3 comments

  1. 1
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Superb. Shared. Cheers. :-)

  2. 2
    embertine

    Holy FSM that’s beautiful.

  3. 3
    sheila

    Thanks. I love planetary nebulae!

    for anyone who’s as puzzled as I used to be: when William Herschel discovered planetary nebulae with an 18th century telescope, they looked like planets. That’s where the name comes from. Luckily for us, optics have improved since then.

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