NGC 5307

NGC 5307 is a planetary nebula located about 10,000 light years away towards the constellation Centaurus. It is about half a light year across and shows a symmetrical, spiral shape. This could be caused by a wobbling jet of gas being expelled from a central white dwarf star.

Planetary nebula last only around 10,000 years. They are formed from dying stars, which cast off their outer shells of material as they run out of fuel. Over time, the material will expand and the nebula will grow as ultraviolet radiation from the remains of the central star illuminate the surrounding gas.

Image from HubbleSite, information from HubbleSite and NASA.