What looks like a glittering diamond ring is actually the remnants of the outer layer of a sun-like star: a spherical bubble of star material, ionized by ultraviolet radiation, and emerging from a super dense “corpse”. “Brilliant” in the lower right corner is actually a bright star, which by luck is between us and the luminous edge of the bubble.
Known by astronomers as Abell 33, this planetary nebula is located 2500 light years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. The picture was taken by the European Southern Observatory's VLT Observatory, located atop the 2600-meter Cerro Paranal, Chile, in the Atacama desert. In addition to the similarity of Abell 33 with jewelry, this planetary nebula has one rare feature - spherical symmetry. Planetary nebulae (named by Sir William Herschel because of their similarities with the planets) are usually irregular or at least not so round.