The Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392), also known as the Clownface Nebula, was discovered by astronomer William Herschel in 1787. From the ground, it resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope produced this image of it. From space, the nebula displays gas clouds so complex that they are not fully understood.
The Eskimo Nebula is clearly a planetary nebula. It is surrounded by gas that composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The visible inner filaments are ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments. NGC 2392 lies about 5000 light-years away and is visible with a small telescope in the constellation of Gemini.
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