Animation of a Planetary Nebula Dissipating

Planetary nebulae, clouds of gas and dust puffed out by Sun-like stars when they die, are transient phenomena in the lives of stars. The nebulae eventually fade and diffuse into interstellar space, where their elements contribute to the formation of new stars. This animation shows an artist’s concept of a planetary nebula evolving over tens of thousands of years.

Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)



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