Very faint planetary nebula Abell 7 is some 1,800 light-years distant,
just south of Orion in planet Earth's skies in the constellation
Lepus, The Hare.
Surrounded by Milky Way stars and near the line-of-sight to
distant background galaxies, its
simple spherical shape, about 8 light-years
in diameter, is outlined in
this deep telescopic image.
Within its confines are beautiful, more complex details enhanced
by the use of narrowband filters.
Emission from hydrogen and nitrogen is shown in reddish hues with oxygen
emission mapped to a bluish-green color, giving Abell 7 a more natural
appearance that would otherwise be much too faint to be appreciated
nebula represents a very brief final phase
in stellar evolution that our own Sun will experience 5 billion
as the nebula's central, once sun-like star
shrugs off its outer layers.
Abell 7 itself is estimated to be 20,000 years old.
Its central star is seen here as a fading white dwarf some
10 billion years old.
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