Monday, February 19, 2007
n 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered the Eskimo Nebula, which from the ground resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the nebula that displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. The Eskimo Nebula 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.