The Hubble Space Telescope captured the death of a Sun-like star in vivid colors.
The image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope corresponds to the planetary nebula NGC 2440, which is located at a distance of 4,000 light years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Puppis. The ultraviolet light from the dying star that generates the glow of the material. The burned-out star, called the "white dwarf," is the white point in the center.
The material ejected by the star glows with different colors depending on its composition, its density and how close it is to the hot central star: blue - helium, blue-green - oxygen, red - nitrogen and hydrogen.
The star is ending its life by shedding its outer layers of gas, which envelop what remains of its stellar core.
The nebula also contains abundant dust clouds, some of which form long dark bands in the opposite direction from the star.
This image and its information were published by NASA in its section of the Hubble Space Telescope on the 23rd of this month.
Dies at high temperatures
The white dwarf in the center of the image has a surface temperature of more than 360,000 degrees Fahrenheit (200,000 degrees Celsius), one of the highest so far known, NASA reported.
The chaotic structure of the nebula suggests that the star shed its mass episodically.
During each explosion, the star ejects material in a different direction. This can be seen in the two bow tie shaped lobes, the NASA report mentions.
Our Milky Way is full of these stellar debris, called planetary nebulae. However, these stellar remains have nothing to do with the planets.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, astronomers named them so because through small telescopes they resembled the disks of the distant planets Uranus and Neptune.
As with this star, our Sun will eventually burn out and be enveloped with stellar debris, but this will not happen for another 5 billion years, mentions the Nasa site, with information from ESA, K. Noll (STScI ) + The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA).