A picture is worth a thousand words, and NASA’s Hubble telescope captured the death throes of a dying star, a process it says has taken tens of thousands of years.
The photo, posted to the NASA website this week, shows the star radiating wisps of blue and orange light. The European Space Agency says that a cloud of gas ejected from the star left its core exposed.
The result, The ESA says, is gas energized by ultraviolet light and radiating an array of colors. Similar colors are seen in the Ring Nebula.
Planetary nebulae general last about 10,000 years, The ESA adds, before the central star cools and turns into a white dwarf, fading from view.