Breathtaking New Vision of Medusa Nebula

Astronomers captured the star in her last phase of transformation.

Astronomers of European Southern Observatory captured a detailed image of the planetary Nebula Medusa that is approximately 1500 light-years from the sun. The image was taken using the ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile which consists of four telescopes. The photo depicts the star which sheds its outer layers into space, forming a colorful cloud. One day, the sun will follow the same fate.

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Medusa Nebula was discovered in 1955 by American astronomer George O. Abell. The braided serpentine filaments of flowing gas looked like the serpent hair of Medusa, so the nebula was named after the ancient Greek character.

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