Dying Star NASA's SOFIA telescope and the FORCAST instrument captured this color-composite image of the planetary nebula Minkowski 2-9 (M2-9), showing a dying sun-like star. NASA/DLR NASA's plane-with-a-hole-in-it has been busy making infrared astronomy observations, and just captured a quiet, sad sight - the feeble last pulsations of a dying star. Astronomers say the images paint the most complete picture yet of how stellar material is recycled and reborn. The pixelated image is a composite of three infrared views of the planetary nebula Minkowski 2-9. (Planetary nebulae are so named because astronomers used to think they looked like planets.) Material is flowing out of a star similar to our sun. Material moving at high speeds around the dying star shapes these emanations into an hourglass form. These lobes are of interest to astronomers because they can illuminate the way stellar material flows into space. The remnants of former stars feed galactic evolution,...
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