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The Necklace Nebula

Image: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

This Hubble image of the Necklace Nebula reveals a glowing ring of gas that resembles a necklace. The bright dot in the center of the ring is actually two stars orbiting close together. One of the stars is near the end of its life and created the planetary nebula. The estimated age of the ring is around 5,000 years. The nebula is 15,000 light-years from Earth. Astronomers discovered the nebula in November 2005 with the Isaac Newton Telescope during a survey of planetary nebulas.