Mouse over the image and scroll to zoom in and out, or use the blue buttons that appear in the lower right corner of the image.
This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, shows the colorful "last hurrah" of a star like our Sun. The star is ending its life by casting off its outer layers of gas, which formed a cocoon around the star's remaining core. Ultraviolet light from the dying star makes the material glow. The burned-out star, called a white dwarf, is the white dot in the center. Our Sun will eventually burn out and shroud itself with stellar debris, but not for another 5 billion years. The image was taken Feb. 6, 2007 with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The colors correspond to material expelled by the star. Blue corresponds to helium; blue-green to oxygen; and red to nitrogen and hydrogen. Learn more at HubbleSite's NewsCenter.