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3/1/12: Hen 3-1333 represents a planetary nebula, the dying throes of a mid-sized star as its outer layers expand into large, irregular globes of gas. Its central star is thought to have a mass of around 60% that of the Sun, with variable brightness that might be caused by a disc of dust that appears almost edge-on from Earth. Astronomers class it as a Wolf-Rayet type star, as it is not large enough to count as a full Wolf-Rayet star.
The Cosmic Butterfly Credit: NASA The Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a new camera aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, snapped this image of the planetary nebula, catalogued as NGC 6302, but more popularly called the Bug Nebula or the Butterfly Nebula. WFC3 was installed by NASA astronauts in May 2009, during the servicing mission to upgrade and repair the then 19-year-old Hubble telescope.
The Mark of a Dying Star - Incredible Six hundred and fifty light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, a dead star about the size of Earth, is refusing to fade away peacefully. In death, it is spewing out massive amounts of hot gas and intense ultraviolet radiation, creating a spectacular object called a "planetary nebula."