The Hubble Space Telescope has captured the death of a sun-like star, a striking nebula known as the ‘Rotten Egg.’
In the image, the star is seen shooting its outer layers of gas and dust into space as it transforms from a red giant to a planetary nebula.
As the process happens rapidly, ‘within just the blink of an eye,’ the astronomers say catching a star in this phase of evolution is extremely rare.
The star, called OH 231.8+04.2 or the Calabash Nebula, lies more than 5,000 light years away in the constellation Puppis.
In its transformation, it’s ejecting material in opposite directions, with gas moving roughly one million kilometers per hour (621,371 miles per hour).
It is a low-mass star, like our own sun, and the nebula is expected to evolve into a fully-fledged planetary nebula over the next thousand years, according to NASA.