[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

Contact: Markus Bauer
European Space Agency

Abell 30: A Born-Again Planetary Nebula

Caption: The intricate pattern of planetary nebula Abell 30 is revealed in these images that combine optical Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images with XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray data. In the main image a large spherical shell is seen in emission of hydrogen (blue) and oxygen (red) as the result of the star's outer shell being stripped off by a dense wind and expanding outward over the last 12 500 years. During the "born-again" phase in the star's evolution, it expelled knots of helium and carbon-rich material. A subsequent fast wind is streaming past this material to form the flower-like structure seen in oxygen emission (red) to produce shock-heated gas seen in X-rays (purple). The inset panel zooms in to the heart of the planetary nebula to reveal intricate details closer to the star. The tail-like structures (orange) mark the dense knots of material from the "born-again" event and are seen in HST images. X-ray emission from this evolutionary phase is shown in purple. The image spans approximately 2.5 x 2.5 arcminutes.

Credit: Credits: Main image: X-ray: ESA/XMM-Newton; optical: NSF/NOAO/KPNO; inset: NASA/CXC/IAA-CSIC/M. Guerrero et al; optical: NASA/STScI

Usage Restrictions: For non-commercial use only. For free use only with full credit line indicated.

Related news release: Born-again star foreshadows fate of solar system

[ Back to EurekAlert! ]