TECH
29/10/2013 06:21 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Nasa's 'Stellar Ghosts' Show The Fate Of Our Own Doomed Star (PICTURES)

We already know that Nasa loves publishing images of "ghosts" in space, even if they're really just mind-bendingly terrifying gas clouds or something.

With that spirit (pun intended) in mind, the space agency has released a trio of new "ghostly" images of strange objects in space.

Nasa says the "stellar ghosts" were caught in infrared light by its Spitzer space telescope:

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"All three spooky structures, called planetary nebulas, are in fact material ejected from dying stars. As death beckoned, the stars' wispy bits and pieces were blown into outer space."

Nasa said that the imaged each showed the eventual fate of our own star, after its fuel is exhausted and it expands into a fireball big enough to consume the Earth.

From left, they are:

  • Exposed Cranium Nebula: "The brain-like orb called PMR 1 has been nicknamed the "Exposed Cranium" nebula by Spitzer scientists."
  • Ghost of Jupiter Nebula: "Also known as NGC 3242, is located roughly 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Hydra."
  • Little Dumbbell Nebula: This planetary nebula, known as NGC 650, or the Little Dumbbell, is about 2,500 light-years from Earth in the Perseus constellation.

Head over to Nasa for more details.