Photograph of the day: Dying star

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A dying star is throwing a cosmic tantrum in this combined image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer.  In death, the star’s dusty outer layers are unravelling into space, glowing from the intense ultraviolet radiation being pumped out by the hot stellar core.  This object, called the Helix nebula, lies 650 light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius.

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