Fast expanding gas clouds mark the end for a central star in the Rotten Egg Nebula, located about 5000 light-years away toward the constellation of Puppis. The once-normal star has run out of nuclear fuel, causing the central regions to contract into a white dwarf causing the outer envelope of the star to expand. As the million-kilometre per hour gas rams into the surrounding interstellar gas, a supersonic shock front forms where ionised hydrogen and nitrogen glow blue.
This 3D computer animation was created by the very talented people at Nebula Bliss based on images taken by the Hubble telescope.
Image & Text Credit: NASA, ESA.
3D Image Credit: Nebula Bliss, Amith Lankesar, Eugene Grachev.