SUMMARY: NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope took this image of a dying star in the middle of a doughnut of leftover gas and dust. The dying star is is part of a planetary nebula, called NGC 246, which used to be similar to our own Sun, but it expended all its fuel and then boiled off its outer layers. Spitzer "sees" in the infrared spectrum, which allows it to peer through most of the obscuring material and get a much better look at the star and its surroundings. NGC 246 is located 1,800 light-years away in the Cetus constellation of our galaxy.

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