NGC 3242, the Ghost of Jupiter Nebula Imaged by XMM-Newton
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Image courtesy of You-Hua Chu and Robert A. Gruendl (University of Illinois), Martin A. Guerrero and Nieves Ruiz (IAA-CSIC) and ESA.
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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)
Higher resolution versions of this image may be available, please contact the XMM-Newton HelpDesk.
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