NGC 2392, The Eskimo Nebula

NGC 2392 The Eskimo Nebula (credit:- NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))
Eskimo Nebula. Image Credit: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope
The Eskimo Nebula: The Eskimo Nebula, or NGC 2392, was once a star very much like the Sun. But once this star began dying, it went into its death throes and began ejecting a bubble of gas around itself. This bubble of gas is constantly expanding, though it’d take several years before we could pick up even a slight apparent change in size. Eventually, the star will become a white dwarf: a cooling body mostly composed of helium and hydrogen. The Eskimo Nebula is interesting because it is composed of both an inner and outer shell. The nebula is designated as a bipolar planetary nebula. Located in Gemini, the nebula is somewhat dim and surprisingly small. Because of this, dark skies and a keen eye are crucial to locating it. First, find the star Pollux. Then, trace your way down to Wasat. The Nebula is very close to another star located 2 degrees Southeast of Wasat. Look closely, because the Nebula is so small it appears only a bit larger than the star it appears to be next to. But with time and averted vision, it is clear that it is in fact a nebula, and not a star. Finding this object can be challenging but is worth the difficulty, especially in dark skies.

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