ic4406

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A dying star, IC 4406, dubbed the “Retina Nebula” is revealed in this month’s Hubble Heritage image. Like many other so-called planetary nebulae, IC 4406 exhibits a high degree of symmetry; the left and right halves of the Hubble image are nearly mirror images of the other. If we could fly around IC4406 in a starship, we would see that the gas and dust form a vast donut of material streaming outward from the dying star. From Earth, we are viewing the donut from the side. This side view allows us to see the intricate tendrils of dust that have been compared to the eye’s retina. In other planetary nebulae, like theRing Nebula (NGC 6720), we view the donut from the top.

source:http://www.wolaver.org/