Eskimo Nebula

In 1787, English astronomer William Herschel discovered the Eskimo Nebula (aka, NGC 2392). From the ground, the nebula resembles someone’s head in a parka hood; hence, the name. The picture above was made by Hubble in 2000. Seen from orbit, the nebula’s gas clouds are complex, so complex they are not fully understood. The Eskimo Nebula is a planetary nebula, and it’s gas cloud came from the outer layers of a Sun-like star only about 10,000 years ago. The inner filaments seen in the picture are being ejected by a strong wind of particles from that central star. The Eskimo Nebula spans about 1/3 of a light year and is about 3,000 light years distant in the constellation Gemini.

Image Credit: NASA

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