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 XMM-Newton Home > Gallery Home > Stars > Nebulae > NGC 3242

NGC 3242, the Ghost of Jupiter Nebula Imaged by XMM-Newton

Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of You-Hua Chu and Robert A. Gruendl (University of Illinois), Martin A. Guerrero and Nieves Ruiz (IAA-CSIC) and ESA. (for details, see Conditions of Use).

The image above can be displayed at full size and may be downloaded by clicking the image above.

About this Image

XMM-Newton and Hubble Space Telescope color composite images of NGC 3242, the Ghost of Jupiter Nebula, a Southern planetary nebula located some 3,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Hydra. The Ghost of Jupiter Nebula is a complex shell of ionized gas that formed the outer layers of a Sun-like star a few thousand years ago. The progenitor star has become a hot white dwarf star whose fast stellar wind snowplows the nebular material to create the multiple shell morphology of this nebula. The dynamic interaction between this fast stellar wind and the nebular material generates X-ray-emitting plasma that can be detected with XMM-Newton. This image shows the location of the hot, X-ray-emitting gas (blue in the image) relative to the cool, ionized nebular shell seen in optical wavelengths ([O III] in green and [N II] in red). The XMM-Newton image was obtained by a team led by Y.-H. Chu (University of Illinois, USA) and the Hubble Space Telescope images were taken by A. Hajian (U.S. Naval Observatory) and B. Balick (University of Washington).

Investigator(s):  You-Hua Chu and Robert A. Gruendl (University of Illinois), Martin A. Guerrero and Nieves Ruiz (IAA-CSIC)

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XMM-Newton; Europe's X-Ray Observatory
Last update: 02-Jun-2015 by