News Release Archive:

News Release 715 of 950

May 12, 1997 11:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1997-11

Hubble Peers into Heart of Dying Star

An Early Release Observation Release

May 12, 1997: The Egg Nebula, also known as CRL 2688, is shown on the left as it appears in visible light and on the right as it looks in infrared light. Both Hubble views recount the last gasps of a dying, Sun-like star.

Objects like the Egg Nebula are helping astronomers understand how stars like our Sun expel carbon and nitrogen ? elements crucial for life ? into space. Studies on the Egg Nebula show that these dying stars eject matter at high speeds along a preferred axis and may even have multiple jet-like outflows. The signature of the collision between this fast-moving material and the slower, out-flowing shells is the glow of hydrogen molecules [the red material] captured in the right-hand image.

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Credit: STScI and NASA