Look at This Gorgeous Ghost of a Dying Star

By Jamie Condliffe on at

This giant cosmic bubble may seem an unusual sight, but in fact it’s pretty common across the Universe—because its the remnants of a dying star, otherwise known as a planetary nebula.

This one in particular is called object ESO 378-1 — or the Southern Owl Nebula to its friends. The image was captured by the European Space Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in northern Chile. Its diameter us a frankly mind-melting 4 light years and it will last a few tens of thousands of years before it fades away to nothing — though that’s a blink of eye in astronomical terms. [PhysOrg]