The Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392)
Looking like a small face framed by a fur-lined hood, this is the breathtakingly beautiful Eskimo Nebula.
This is an intricate structure of shells and streamers of gas which surround a dying, Sun-like star over 5000 light-years away from Earth.
The disc of material is embellished with a ring of comet-shaped objects, their tails streaming away from the central dying star. The planetary nebula began to form about 10 000 years ago, when the star started to expel an intense, high-speed 'wind' of material out into space.
This photograph was taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Last update: 13 September 2004