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.
2002 April 7
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. NGC 2392 lies about 5000 light-years away and is visible with a small telescope in the constellation of Gemini.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.