Astronomy - Planetary Nebula NGC 2818

Discussion in 'The Newsroom' started by Kent Brockman, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Kent Brockman

    This just in, go to hell!

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    Planetary Nebula NGC 2818

    [​IMG]Planetary Nebula NGC 2818NGC 2818 is a beautifulplanetary nebula,the gaseous shroud of adying sun-like star.It could well offer a glimpse of the future thatawaits our own Sun after spending another 5 billion years orso steadily using up hydrogen at its core, and then finally helium, asfuel for nuclear fusion.Curiously,NGC 2818 seems to lie within a sparse open starcluster, NGC 2818A, that is some 10,000 light-years distanttoward the southern constellationPyxis(Compass).Since open starclusters disperse after only a few hundredmillion years, this one must be exceptionally old tohave one of its member stars evolve to the planetarynebula stage.At the distance of the star cluster, planetary nebula NGC 2818would be about 4 light-years across.The Hubble imageis a composite of exposures through narrow-band filters,presenting emission from nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen atomsin the nebula as red, green, and blue hues.

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