Helix Nebula
New general catalog of nebulae and clusters of stars: NGC 7293
Constellation: Aquarius

After a star has used all of its available Hydrogen and Helium for nuclear fusion, it collapses lacking further fuel. At this stage it ejects its atmosphere into space. The remnant star, a so-called white dwarf heats up to tens of thousands degrees centigrade and ionizes the ambient gas shell.

This phenomenon appears to the astronomer as a "planetary nebula", which has nothing to do with a planet but its appearance at first glance similar to the fuzzy disks of Uranus and Neptune.

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