Messier 97 – The Owl Nebula

Planetary nebula Messier 97

Messier 97 is a planetary nebula about 2,000 light years away. Called the Owl Nebula (because of the two dark patches that look like eyes), the greens of oxygen and reds of hydrogen are being illuminated by the star in the centre as it goes through it’s final days before becoming a white dwarf. In 5 billion years or so, this is what the Sun is likely to look like. I’ve come back to the Owl a few times over the years, and it never fails to come through!

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