NGC 3918 illustration

Studying planetary nebulae is important to understanding the process of star death. A star begins to die when it has exhausted its thermonuclear fuel - hydrogen and helium. The star then becomes bright and cool (red giant phase) and swells to several tens of times its normal size. It begins puffing thin shells of gas off into space. These shells become the star's cocoon., which are known as plenatery nebula.

This illustration of the planetary nebula NGC 3918 shows how the radiation of the host star creates the oval form of the surrounding shell.

Credit:

NASA & ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo9738k
Type:Collage
Release date:17 December 1997, 06:00
Size:212 x 212 px

About the Object

Name:IRAS 11478-5654, NGC 3918
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary
• X - Nebulae Images/Videos
Distance:5000 light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

Image Formats

Large JPEG
23.5 KB
Screensize JPEG
116.6 KB

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