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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hubble captures the sharpest view of M57, the Ring Nebula

Hubble captures the sharpest view of M57, the Ring Nebula
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M57, the Ring Nebula, is one of the most famous of all planetary nebulae. A dying star has thrown off some of its outer material thousands of years ago. The nebula is situated 2,000 light years away in the constellation Lyra. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the sharpest view yet of the most famous of all planetary nebulae. In this October 1998 image, the telescope has looked down a barrel of gas cast off by a dying star thousands of years ago. This photo reveals elongated dark clumps of material embedded in the gas at the edge of the nebula; the dying central star floating in a blue haze of hot gas. The nebula is about a light-year in diameter.
Credit: Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA/ESA)

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