NGC 6153 in the constellation Scorpius contains up to three times the amount of neon, argon, oxygen, carbon and chlorine to be found in our Solar System, but what really sets this planetary nebula apart is the quantity of nitrogen in its clouds.
Astronomers have for the first time captured what appears to be the moment when a red giant star evolves into a stunning butterfly-like planetary nebula, using the SPHERE instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT).
Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile have captured the most detailed image ever taken of the Medusa Nebula in the constellation of Gemini. As the star at the heart of this nebula made its transition into retirement, it shed its outer layers into space, forming this colourful cloud.
Discovered by William Herschel in 1785, NGC 246 is a large planetary nebula in a star-poor area of Cetus. It must have been quite challenging for him to find as he often used high powers and small fields when searching for nebulae.