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Ring Nebula Looks Like A Beautiful Space Flower (PHOTO)

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/23/2012 3:40 pm Updated: 04/23/2012 5:32 pm

Heralded as the most famous celestial band -- second only to the rings of Saturn -- the Ring Nebula (also categorized as M57) glows with impressive "looping structures," in a way that looks stunningly like a giant blooming flower floating in space.

Luckily for us, the Hubble Space Telescope captured an image in beautiful detail, considering the Ring Nebula exists 2,000 light years away from Earth.

(Scroll for photo)

According to the NASA-based website, the Ring Nebula's glowing outer layers are expelled from its dying center, which used to be a sun-like star. The "intense ultraviolet light" ionizes atoms an hydrogen in the gas, which create the green and reddish glow.

As if this photo wasn't pretty enough, take a look at this breathtaking time-lapse video of shots from the International Space Station.

Shot by the Expedition 30 crew, the video features shots of the Aurora Borealis above Hudson Bay, a comet's glowing tail, city lights and lightning storms over Africa.

For more, take a look at the space station'sstunning shot of Moscow from about 240 miles above earth.


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