Butterfly Nebula from Upgraded Hubble
Distance: 4,000 light years away
The bright clusters and nebulae of planet Earth’s night sky are often named for flowers or insects, and NGC 6302 is no exception. With an estimated surface temperature of about 250,000 degrees C, the central star of this particular planetary nebula is exceptionally hot though — shining brightly in ultraviolet light but hidden from direct view by a dense torus of dust. This dramatically detailed close-up of the dying star’s nebula was recorded by the upgraded Hubble Space Telescope.
Credit: APOD NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team