spaceSpace and Physics

Hubble Witnesses The Dying Moments Of A Star

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Morenike Adebayo

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1528 Hubble Witnesses The Dying Moments Of A Star
The star's last moments. ESA/Hubble/NASA/Matej Novak

Colorful and full of energy aren’t terms we’d usually associate with death. For this dying star above, captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, its vibrant death has taken tens of thousands of years.

Posted by NASA on its website, the photo shows the star’s wisps emitting an orange light. The European Space Agency (ESA) wrote that “Once enough material was ejected, the star’s luminous core was exposed, enabling its ultraviolet radiation to excite the surrounding gas to varying degrees and causing it to radiate in an attractive array of colors.”


But it’s not all heartbreak and sorrow: In dying, this beautiful star birthed a healthy planetary nebula, named NGC 6565, when strong stellar winds forced the outer layers of the star into space.

Planetary nebulae like NGC 6565 last for approximately 10,000 years, the ESA added, before the central star cools and morphs into a white dwarf. The star’s light fades quickly and thus no longer excites the encircling cloud of gas, and so the nebula’s glow diminishes from sight.



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