Friday, 24 July 2009

Hubble, Bubbles, Toil and Trouble in Space!


IT LOOKS like a soap bubble in space, but the image at right is a newly discovered planetary nebula.



Planetary nebulae, which got their name after being misidentified by early astronomers, are formed when an ageing star weighing up to eight times the mass of the sun ejects its outer layers as clouds of luminous gas.



Most are elliptical, double-lobed or cigar-shaped, evolving after stars eject gas from each pole.
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