August 23 (UPI) – NASA and the European Space Agency released a picture of a dying star on Friday, which told the agencies that it was puzzling astronomers when they first thought it was a picture of two to be separate objects, although the objects are actually a star separated into two lobes.
While recorded by astronomers as separate planetary bodies – NGC 2371 and NGC 2372 – the two lobes form a so-called planetary nebula.
The nebula NGC 2371/2 formed when a star began to die and crowded its outer layers protruding into space, leaving an outstanding remnant. On the picture you can see the two material lids in the upper right and lower left corner, between which the overheated star remnant is approximately equidistant.
ESA scientists say the remnants of the star will continue to change in the next few thousands of years, when the lobes eventually dissolve and the remainder cools to a white dwarf star.