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From Cosmic Spare Tyre to Ethereal Blossom

From Cosmic Spare Tyre to Ethereal Blossom
IC 5148 is a beautiful planetary nebula located some 3000 light-years away in the constellation of Grus (The Crane). (Image credit: ESO)

IC 5148 is a beautiful planetary nebula located some 3000 light-years away in the constellation of Grus (The Crane). The nebula has a diameter of a couple of light-years, and it is still growing at over 50 kilometres per second — one of the fastest expanding planetary nebulae known. The term “planetary nebula” arose in the 19th century, when the first observations of such objects — through the small telescopes available at the time — looked somewhat like giant planets. However, the true nature of planetary nebulae is quite different.

Space.com Staff
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