Last breath of a dying star -- ScienceDaily
Solar System

Final breath of a dying star — ScienceDaily


An evanescent shell of glowing fuel spreading into area — the planetary nebula ESO 577-24 — dominates this picture [1]. This planetary nebula is the stays of a useless large star that has thrown off its outer layers, forsaking a small, intensely scorching dwarf star. This diminished remnant will step by step cool and fade, residing out its days because the mere ghost of a once-vast purple large star.

Pink giants are stars on the finish of their lives which have exhausted the hydrogen gas of their cores and begun to contract beneath the crushing grip of gravity. As a purple large shrinks, the immense strain reignites the core of the star, inflicting it to throw its outer layers into the void as a robust stellar wind. The dying star’s incandescent core emits ultraviolet radiation intense sufficient to ionise these ejected layers and trigger them to shine. The result’s what we see as a planetary nebula — a last, fleeting testomony to an historical star on the finish of its life [2].

This dazzling planetary nebula was found as a part of the Nationwide Geographic Society ? — ?Palomar Observatory Sky Survey within the 1950s, and was recorded within the Abell Catalogue of Planetary Nebulae in 1966 [3]. At round 1400 gentle years from Earth, the ghostly glow of ESO 577-24 is just seen by means of a robust telescope. Because the dwarf star cools, the nebula will proceed to broaden into area, slowly fading from view.

This picture of ESO 577-24 was created as a part of the ESO Cosmic Gems Programme, an initiative that produces photographs of attention-grabbing, intriguing, or visually enticing objects utilizing ESO telescopes for the needs of schooling and public outreach. The programme makes use of telescope time that can’t be used for scientific observations; nonetheless, the information collected are made accessible to astronomers by means of the ESO Science Archive.


[1] Planetary nebulae have been first noticed by astronomers within the 18th century — to them, their dim glow and crisp outlines resembled planets of the Photo voltaic System.

[2] By the point our Solar evolves right into a purple large, it can have reached the venerable age of 10 billion years. There is no such thing as a quick must panic, nevertheless — the Solar is at present solely 5 billion years outdated.

[3] Astronomical objects typically have a wide range of official names, with totally different catalogues offering totally different designations. The formal title of this object within the Abell Catalogue of Planetary Nebulae is PN A66 36.

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