Diamond ring shape formed by dead and living stars

Unusually round, planetary nebula Abell 33 aligns with foreground star

By Christopher Crockett, 15:16 PM April 8, 2014

A chance alignment of stars has created a diamond ring–like image.

Abell 33 is the ghostly remnant of a dead star, a planetary nebula about 3 light-years across and 2,500 light-years from Earth in the Hydra constellation. Like other old stars, Abell 33 inflated to many times its original size. As powerful stellar winds overtook gravity’s inward pull, the bulk of the star blew gently into space and formed the nebula. The star’s core stayed behind to become a white dwarf, a hot, compact ball abo...

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