This beautiful photograph was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2, and it shows the planetary nebula NGC 2440. Once again, we’re looking at a haunting vision of the future that awaits our own Sun.
The star at the heart of NGC 2440 cast off its outer layers of gas, creating the cocoon that we see now. The ultraviolet radiation from the star is radiating outward, illuminating the gas, so we can see it through Hubble. Once a main sequence star like our Sun, the central star is now a hot white dwarf – one of the hottest ever discovered, with a surface temperature of 200,000 degrees Celsius.
Original Source: ESA News Release