The passage of a star ...
You are looking at the Medusa Nebula ... a colorful cloudburst in deep space made up of particles and fragments from its dying star.
Named after the mythological creature known for her frightening wave of snakes for hair, the planetary nebula's reptilian mane is actually a mixture of gaseous filaments ... largely hydrogen and oxygen.
This was captured by the very large telescope at the European Southern Observatory in northern Chile.
At the core of the nebula lies a star that at one time looked very much like our sun, but after eons began to slowly burn out, shedding its layers into space -- revealing what scientists believe will be the fate of our own sun, but thankfully not for another few billion years.
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