David Aguilar
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Christine Pulliam
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CfA Press Release Images
 Release No. 04-25: One Star's Life Ends With A Ring
For Release: August 9, 2004

NGC246The infrared vision of the Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed whatcouldnot be seen before- a massive ring of material that was expelled from adying star. The planetary nebula known as NGC 246 appears essentiallyroundin visible-light photographs, but in the infrared shows an asymmetric,off-center ring (colored red in this image) that may consist ofmolecularhydrogen. About four-fifths of all stars in our Galaxy will end theirlivesin this way, puffing off their outer layers to form glowing nebulae.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Hora (Harvard-Smithsonian Center forAstrophysics)

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