Feb. 14, 2013 | 8:17 a.m.
It’s Valentine’s Day and nothing says “I love you” like an image of a planetary nebula that looks like a gaseous rose glowing in outer space. The planetary nebula Sh2-174, pictured in the color composite image above, is a star in the process of losing is its outer layers at the end of its life. This phase usually lasts for 10,000 years before it fades out, leaving only the core of the star, known as the white dwarf, behind. Although 10,000 years may seem like a long time to us, for a star that might have a lifespan of 10 billion years, the planetary nebula stage is just a blip. ASTEROID: When and where to watch it online Sh2-174 is a bit unusual because the white dwarf is not in the center of the planetary nebula where you would expect it to […]