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Planetary Nebula NGC 2440
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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.



NASA, ESA, and K. Noll (STScI);


The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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