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Stunning Planetary Nebulas

Stunning Planetary Nebulas

planetary nebulas, NASA, Chandra X-ray Observatory, star, Sun, image, pic of the day

This image shows four planetary nebulas as captured by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. As explained in Chandra’s website, a planetary nebula represents a phase of stellar evolution:

“When a star like the Sun uses up all of the hydrogen in its core, it expands into a red giant, with a radius that increases by tens to hundreds of times. In this phase, a star sheds most of its outer layers, eventually leaving behind a hot core that will soon contract to form a dense white dwarf star. A fast wind emanating from the hot core rams into the ejected atmosphere, pushes it outward, and creates the graceful, shell-like filamentary structures seen with optical telescopes.”

Beautiful, isn’t it? Click on the image to enlarge it.

Source: Chadra X-ray Observatory

Photo: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIT/J.Kastner et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI

Jaime Menchén
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