Glide into the region of sky containing planetary nebula NGC 5189. Located 1800 light-years away in the southern constellation Musca, NGC 5189 has a knotty and filamentary structure surrounding bluish lobes.
Planetary nebulae represent the final brief stage in the life of a medium-sized star like our Sun. While consuming the last of the fuel in its core, the dying star expels a large portion of its outer envelope. This material is then illuminated by the ultraviolet radiation from the stellar remnant, producing glowing clouds of gas that can show complex structure.
NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI);
Acknowledgment: A. Fujii, Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), STScI/AURA, Palomar/Caltech, and UKSTU/AAO, Gemini Observatory, AURA, T. Rector (U. Alaska) and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Publication: December 18, 2012