Out in space, the stars remind us that not even our sun will live forever.
Eventually, all stars exhaust their nuclear fuel, and run out of fusible material.
For sun-like stars, they will grow into red giants, and then die gently.
They pulsate first, and inflate their gaseous outer layers.
The central star, which has used up its fuel, then contracts and heats up to form a white dwarf.
This heating ionizes and lights the ejected material, resulting in the formation of a planetary nebula.
the The nearest planetary nebula To Earth just over 2,000 light-years away: the Ring Nebula.
It was discovered in 1779, and it resembles its circular shape Only part of the story.
An enormous group of Diffuse shells rich in hydrogen surround it.
Two lobes of low-density gas It extends in both directions along our line of sight.
The “loop” feature appears very prominently because We are oriented along the poles of the nebula.
But JWST’s eyes are infrared Reveal features superior to any other view.
Its high-resolution cameras reveal the nearly 20,000 dense knots of gas inside.
internal threads View intricate details As the radiation gradually boils it.
approximately 10 concentric arcs, rich in hydrocarbons, It surrounds the main “ring” feature.
warm inside, Low density material It fills the inner spherical region.
In general, the James Webb Space Telescope detects the Ring Nebula more accurately More than ever.
Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story with pictures and visuals and no more than 200 words.