Astronomy Picture of the Day



Spherical Planetary Nebula Abell 39

Bild Upload von 18.02.2016 21:43

Bild Note: 0 (0 Votes)

previousoverviewnext
zorg.ch
#77403 by @ 29.07.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Spherical Planetary Nebula Abell 39


Explanation:

Ghostly in appearance,
Abell 39
is a remarkably simple, spherical nebula about
five light-years across.

Well within our own
Milky
Way
galaxy, the cosmic
sphere
is roughly 7,000 light-years distant toward the constellation
Hercules.

Abell 39 is a planetary nebula, formed as a
once sun-like star's outer atmosphere was expelled
over a period of thousands of years.

Still visible, the nebula's central star
is evolving into a hot white dwarf.

Although faint, the nebula's simple geometry has
proven to be
a boon
to
astronomers
exploring the chemical abundances and
life cycles of stars.

In
this deep image
recorded under dark night skies,
very distant
background
galaxies can be found --
some visible right through the nebula itself.




Credit & Copyright