This planetary nebula, Mz3, is being cast off by a star similar to our Sun. The 1000-kilometer per second speed of the expelled gas, the light-year long length of the structure, and the magnetism of the star visible at the nebula's center, all imply Mz3 is hiding a second, dimmer star that orbits close in to the bright star. A competing hypothesis holds that the central star's own spin and magnetic field are channeling the gas. (ESA, NASA's Hubble, JPL-CalTech)
The Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543) in normal light. It is a planetary nebula just 3,000 light-years away in the northern constellation Draco. The term 'planetary nebula' is misleading - such objects are the result of sun-sized (i.e., our sun, Sol) stars shedding huge volumes of material late in their stellar lives, rather than become black holes.
The planetary nebula IC 4406 seen with MUSE and the AOF | The coupling of the AOF with MUSE gives access to both greater sharpness and a wide dynamic range when observing celestial objects like planetary nebulae. More information: https://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1724a/ Credit: ESO/J. Richard (CRAL)
A Planetary Nebula Gallery Composite Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIT/J.Kastner et al.; Optical: NASA/STScIThis gallery shows four planetary nebulas from the first systematic survey of such objects in the solar neighborhood made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The planetary nebulas shown here are NGC 6543, also known as the Cat's Eye, NGC 7662, NGC 7009 and NGC 6826. This image was released Oct. 10, 2012.