Hubble Space Telescope images the death of a Sun-like star

We can't say with 100% accuracy what will happen to the Sun in the future, but studying older Sun-like stars enables astronomers to predict how its life is likely to play out.

Planetary nebula NGC 2022. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Wade

When stars as massive as the Sun die they swell up to become red giants and begin shedding their outer layers into space, forming an expanding shell of gas.

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Our own Sun may one day end up resembling this object, NGC 2022, known as a planetary nebula.

This image was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

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Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Wade