Hubble Space Telescope, which belongs to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), has captured the colourful image of a dying star 1,400 light-years from Earth.
In a tweet, the official handle of NASA Hubble said, “As a Sun-like star nears the end of its life, it can produce a psychedelic work of art in space. The glowing clouds of the Saturn Nebula are the cast-off outer layers of a dying star about 1,400 light-years from Earth.
Take a look:
#HubbleClassic As a Sun-like star nears the end of its life, it can produce a psychedelic work of art in space. The glowing clouds of the Saturn Nebula are the cast-off outer layers of a dying star about 1,400 light-years from Earth: https://t.co/sIrCyoI9u6 pic.twitter.com/PXaEfsCBPV— Hubble (@NASAHubble) October 17, 2019
The NASA picture reveals the death throes of a Sun-like star at the end of its life. It is to be noted that astronomers have dubbed the object the Saturn Nebula or NGC 7009 in the constellation Aquarius. The nebula, which can be found in the night sky west of the star Nu Aquarii, features a single white dwarf core at the centre of billowing clouds of gas. The blue, green, yellow, orange, and red clouds are the gas shed by the dying star.
In a statement, NASA said, Garden-variety stars like the Sun live fairly placid lives in their galactic neighborhoods, casually churning out heat and light for billions of years. When these stars reach retirement age, however, they transform into unique and often psychedelic works of art. This Hubble Space Telescope image of the Saturn Nebula shows the result, called a planetary nebula. While it looks like a piece of wrapped cosmic candy, what we see is actually the outer layers of a dying star.”
“Stars are powered by nuclear fusion, but each one comes with a limited supply of fuel. When a medium-mass star exhausts its nuclear fuel, it will swell up and shrug off its outer layers until only a small, hot core remains. The leftover core, called a white dwarf, is a lot like a hot coal that glows after a barbecue — eventually it will fade out. Until then, the gaseous debris fluoresces as it expands out into the cosmos, possibly destined to be recycled into later generations of stars and planets,” it said.
“Using Hubble’s observations, scientists have characterized the nebula’s composition, structure, temperature and the way it interacts with surrounding material. Studying planetary nebulas is particularly interesting since our Sun will experience a similar fate around five billion years down the road,” the NASA concluded.
Recently, Hubble telescope captured a spectacular image of the galaxy NGC 3717, which is located around 60 million light-years away, in the constellation Hydra (the sea serpent).