Glorious Death of a Star

Small_webThis NASA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the final days of a star like our Sun. The star is ending its life by casting off its outer layers of gas, which formed a cocoon around the star's remaining core. The ultraviolet light from the dying star makes the material glow. The burned-out star, called a white dwarf, appears as a white dot in the center. The Milky Way Galaxy is littered with these stellar relics, called planetary nebulae. Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 captured this image of planetary nebula NGC 2440 on Feb. 6, 2007.

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