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Hubble's Historic Shots

Kohoutek 4-55

This image has been released by NASA as the last "pretty" image made by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The image made May 4, 2009 is of the planetary nebula known as Kohoutek 4-55. It is one of a series of planetary nebulae that were named after their discoverer, Czech astronomer Lubos Kohoutek. A planetary nebula contains the outer layers of a red giant star that were expelled into interstellar space when the star was in the late stages of its life. Ultraviolet radiation emitted from the remaining hot core of the star ionizes the ejected gas shells, causing them to glow. The Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 will be replace during the space shuttle mission scheduled to launch Monday May 11, 2009.

(AP Photo/NASA)

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