PHOTO OF THE DAY: NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope Captues Dumbbell Nebula Known as ‘Messier 27’

the nebula was discovered in 1764 by Charles Messier

Infrared light surges out from the Dumbbell Nebula, also known as Messier 27, in this Aug. 10, 2011, image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. (NASA image)

(NASA) – Infrared light surges out from the Dumbbell Nebula, also known as Messier 27, in this Aug. 10, 2011, image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

This nebula was discovered in 1764 by Charles Messier.

It was the first in a class of objects, now known as planetary nebulae, to make it into Messier’s catalog of astronomical objects.

Planetary nebulae, historically named for their resemblance to gas-giant planets, are now known to be the remains of stars that once looked a lot like our Sun.

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