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.

Published: October 5, 2019 at 9:16 pm
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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

Authors

Iain Todd, BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Iain ToddScience journalist

Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Content Editor. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.

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