Thursday, February 15, 2007
If that isn't beautiful.....what is
Planetary nebula NGC 2440. OK so its a false color image. But still stunning. The nebula is composed of material cast off by a dying sun-like star as it enters its white dwarf phase of evolution. Near the center of the view, the star itself is one of the hottest known, with a surface temperature of about 200,000 kelvins. About 4,000 light-years from planet Earth toward the nautical constellation Puppis, the nebula spans over a light-year and is energized by ultraviolet light from the central star. The false-color image was recorded earlier this month using the Hubble's Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2(WFPC2), demonstrating still impressive imaging capabilities following the failure of the Advanced Camera for Surveys.