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Hubble Reveals the Ring Nebula's True Shape
Credit: NASA, ESA, C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University), and D. Thompson (Large Binocular Telescope Observatory)
In this composite image, visible-light observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are combined with infrared data from the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona to assemble a dramatic view of the well-known Ring Nebula. Called a planetary nebula, the Ring Nebula is the glowing remains of a Sun-like star. The object is tilted toward Earth so that astronomers see the ring face-on. The Hubble observations reveal that the nebula's shape is more complicated than astronomers thought. Image released May 23, 2013.