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Stars Like the Sun Die in a Glorious Display

No star lives forever— our own Sun included. After a star like the Sun has used up all its nuclear fuel, it throws off its outer layers and then fades away. Hubble's exquisite images of these glorious displays (called planetary nebulae) provide new insights into the complexities of a star's final days.

Despite the name, planetary nebulae have little to do with planets. They were named over a century ago because through the small telescopes of the day, they resembled planets.


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About Stars Star Birth Star Death Space/Time: Stars  
  Cat's Eye Nebula

Images of planetary nebulae — such as the Cat's Eye nebula — give us a preview of how the Sun's life will end. Stars like the Sun puff off their outer layers when they die, leaving behind a tiny white ember not much larger than the Earth.

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Twin-Jet Nebula   Ring Nebula   Hourglass Nebula


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