Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2009 May 3
Explanation: In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered NGC 2392. From the ground, NGC 2392 resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged NGC 2392. From space, the nebula displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. NGC 2392 is clearly a planetary nebula, and the gas seen above composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The inner filaments visible above are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments. The NGC 2392 Nebula spans about 1/3 of a light year and lies in our Milky Way Galaxy, about 3,000 light years distant, toward the constellation of the Twins (Gemini).
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.