Fig11_3 Eskimo Nebula

Fig11_3 Eskimo Nebula

Fig. 11.3 . About 10,000 years ago, a dying Sun-like star began flinging material into nearby space, producing this planetary nebula that is formally designated as NGC 2392. When first observed more than two centuries ago, it was dubbed the “Eskimo” Nebula, because it resembled a face surrounded by the fur parka worn by Eskimos. It is located about 5,000 light-years from Earth. This detailed image, obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope, reveals several episodes of ejection from the central star, including an outer ring of objects that are shaped like tear drops that point outward, and elongated, filamentary bubbles, each about one light-year in diameter. Dense material enveloping the star’s equator has blocked ejected material, while intense winds moving at about 420 km s-1 have swept material above and below the equatorial regions. The bright central region contains another wind-blown bubble. [Courtesy of NASA/Andrew Frucher/ERO Team (Slyvia Baggett/STScI/Richard Hook, ST-ECF, and Zolan Levay/STScI.]

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University