That’s no planet…

VERY LARGE TELE­SCOPE, 27 SEPTEM­BER 2017

Sky at Night Magazine - - EYE ON THE SKY -

The Saturn Ne­bula is a plan­e­tary ne­bula, even though it has noth­ing to do with plan­ets, let alone Earth’s most fa­mous ringed com­pan­ion. Plan­e­tary neb­u­lae form when stars of 0.8 to eight so­lar masses die, their cores col­laps­ing into a white dwarf and their outer lay­ers ejected into a dif­fuse gas shell, cre­at­ing a cir­cu­lar shape that looks like a planet. Go­ing by ap­pear­ances, it’s easy to see how this par­tic­u­lar plan­e­tary ne­bula got its name.

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