The life of planetary nebulae is often chaotic – their parent stars perish, and they themselves disappear into the interstellar medium, scattering their contents far into space. NASA / ESA’s Hubble telescope transmitted to Earth a picture of one of them in the constellation of Scorpio – ESO 455-10.
The flattened envelopes of ESO 455-10, which were previously tightly held together like layers of the central star, not only give this planetary nebula its unique appearance but also provide information about it. Visible in the stellar field, a distinct asymmetric arc of matter on its north side is a clear indication of the interaction between ESO 455-10 and the interstellar medium.
Despite the name, a planetary nebula is an astronomical object that is a shell of ionized gas around the central star, a white dwarf. Formed by the ejection of the outer layers of a red giant or supergiant with a mass of 0.8 to 8 solar masses at the final stage of its evolution.
The interstellar medium is the material of matter and radiation between star systems and galaxies. The star at the center of ESO 455-10 interacts with the gas and dust of the nebula and the surrounding interstellar medium. Planetary nebulae are believed to be critical to the growth of galaxies. The fact is that they “throw” elements into the interstellar medium, which over time will form the next generation of stars.
On April 24, 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into Earth’s orbit. It is an automatic observatory in orbit around the Earth, named after Edwin Hubble. The Hubble Telescope is a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency and is part of NASA’s Large Observatories.