The Planetary Nebula NGC 2440

The Planetary Nebula NGC 2440
From the Hubble Space Telescope
The central star of the planetary nebula NGC 2440 is one of the hottest known, with a surface temperature near 200,000 degrees Celsius. The complex structure of the surrounding nebula suggests to some astronomers that there have been periodic oppositely directed outflows from the central star. The nebula is also rich in clouds of dust, some of which form long, dark streaks pointing away from the central star. In addition to the bright nebula, which glows because of fluorescence due to ultraviolet radiation from the hot star, NGC 2440 is surrounded by a much larger cloud of cooler gas which is invisible in ordinary light, but can be detected with infrared telescopes. NGC 2440 lies about 4,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Puppis.
Image Title: The Planetary Nebula NGC 2440
based on press release for PHOTO NO.: STScI-PRC99-38
Credit: NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI).

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Last modified on Sunday, December 17, 2000