New Delhi: NASA has released a colorful image of a sun-like star, a planetary nebula called NGC 2440, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
The image shows the colorful "last hurrah" of the star NGC 2440, which lies about 4,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Puppis.
The star is ending its life by casting off its outer layers of gas, which formed a cocoon around the star's remaining core. Ultraviolet light from the dying star makes the material glow.
As per NASA, the white dwarf - white dot - at the center of NGC 2440 is one of the hottest known, with a surface temperature of more than 360,000 degrees Fahrenheit (200,000 degrees Celsius).
The nebula's chaotic structure suggests that the star shed its mass episodically. During each outburst, the star expelled material in a different direction.
The nebula also is rich in clouds of dust, some of which form long, dark streaks pointing away from the star.
The material expelled by the star glows with different colors depending on its composition, its density and how close it is to the hot central star. Blue samples helium; blue-green oxygen, and red nitrogen and hydrogen.
Our sun will eventually burn out and shroud itself with stellar debris, but not for another 5 billion years.
Our Milky Way Galaxy is littered with these stellar relics, called planetary nebulae.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a joint ESA/NASA project and was launched in into orbit in 1990. The telescope, which has sent mind-blowing images, has changed our understanding of the cosmos as well as where we see glimpses of our universe in everyday life.