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The Little Ghost Nebula is a planetary nebula. Nothing to do with planets, but they looked like planets in 18th century telescopes. Planetary nebulae form when a star like the Sun runs out of hydrogen and swells into a red giant, throwing off the outer layers of atmosphere. This often happens fairly symmetrically. (Image: Hubble Heritage Team) ©Mona Evans, “Nebulae” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art43407.asp

Eyes and Nebulas

Eyes and Nebulas
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Eyes and Nebulas

The Ring Nebula (M57). A planetary nebula in the constellation Lyra. Planetary nebulae are formed when a dying sun-like star throws off its outer layers. (Credit: NASA/STScI/AURA) Mona Evans, "Lyra the Heavenly Harp" http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art19767.asp

The Fairy of the Eagle Nebula The dust sculptures of the Eagle Nebula are evaporating. As powerful starlight whittles away these cool cosmic mountains, the statuesque pillars that remain might be imagined as mythical beasts. Pictured above is one of several striking dust pillars of the Eagle Nebula that might be described as a gigantic alien fairy. This fairy, however, is ten light years tall and spews radiation much hotter than common fire. The greater Eagle Nebula, M16, is actually a…