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Eskimo Nebula

Clown Face Nebula, C39, NGC 2392, PK 197+17.1

A planetary nebula in the constellation of Gemini, lying to the south of the bright stars Castor and Pollux in the sky. The nebula consists of two concentric shells of material cast off from a central star some 6,500 light years from the Solar System. The inner of these two shells consists of overlapping spiral patterns of material covering a region about a light year across, creating a complex pattern.

The outer shell appears in the form of strands of matter extending radially outwards from the central star, each measuring about a light year in length. Together these two shells give the vague impression of a face looking out from within a fur-lined hood, hence the common name of 'Eskimo' for this nebula.


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