Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 2440: Cocoon of a New White Dwarf

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#65153 by @ 24.01.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
NGC 2440: Cocoon of a New White Dwarf

Like a butterfly, a white dwarf star begins its life
by casting off a cocoon that enclosed its former self.

In this analogy, however, the >Sun would be a caterpillar and the ejected shell of gas
would become the prettiest of all!

The above cocoon, the >planetary nebula designated NGC 2440,
contains one of the hottest
white dwarf stars known

The white dwarf can be seen as the bright dot near the photo's center.

>Our Sun will eventually become a "white dwarf butterfly",
but not for another 5 billion years.

The above false color image was post-processed by Forrest Hamilton.

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