Located about 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus (The Swan), Abell 78 is the nebula of an unusual planet. Also known as ACO 78, PK 081-14.1 and ARO 174, this planetary nebula is 2.8 light-years across.
After exhausting the nuclear fuel in their cores, our stars about 0.8 to 8 times the mass of our Sun form dense and hot white dwarf stars. As this process takes occurs, the dying star will throw out the outer layers of dying star elements, a planet known as gas and dust Will create wide clouds.
This phenomenon is not uncommon, and planetary nebulae are often a popular focus among astronomers because of their beautiful and complex shapes. However, a few like the Abell 78 are the result of a so-called “born again” star.
Although the core of the star has stopped burning hydrogen and helium, a thermonuclear escape on its surface releases the material at high speed. This ejecta pushes and pushes the old nebula material, creating filaments and irregular shells around the central star seen in this image of the week, featuring data from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and PANSTARSS.
The faded halo of the Abel 78 consists mostly of hydrogen and its inner elliptical ring is made of helium.
“This ejecta pushes and disperses elements of the old nebula and produces filaments and irregular shells around the central star seen in this image.”
The new colour image of the Abel 78 is a combination of Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument and individual exposures achieved by a 1.4-gigapixel camera (GPC1) in the 1.8-m Pan-StarRS1 (PS1) telescope.
Four filters were used to sample different optical wavelengths. Colour results by describing different colours in each monochromatic image associated with a separate filter.
photo credit : NASA