Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spherical Planetary Nebula Abell 39
Posted on 10/08/2012 8:17:39 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: Ghostly in appearance, Abell 39 is a remarkably simple, spherical nebula about five light-years across. Well within our own Milky Way galaxy, the cosmic sphere is roughly 7,000 light-years distant toward the constellation Hercules. Abell 39 is a planetary nebula, formed as a once sun-like star's outer atmosphere was expelled over a period of thousands of years. Still visible, the nebula's central star is evolving into a hot white dwarf. Although faint, the nebula's simple geometry has proven to be a boon to astronomers exploring the chemical abundances and life cycles of stars. In this deep image recorded under dark night skies, very distant background galaxies can be found -- some visible right through the nebula itself.
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Bump & Thanks for the continued great APOD posts.
Thanks for posting.
Just when I thought I could not be surprised by these images.
We are blessed tp be the generation that witnesses discovery.
I heartily concur, and often think of this, even if other generations before us have felt the same way. Our age is the Silicon age, and this accounts for these incredible discoveries and the new tools of our daily life. In the words of the poet, "Where to, what next?"
I really like that one!
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