Every now and again I’ll see an image of an astronomical object and think, what the heck?
CRL 618 is definitely one such object!
This Hubble image threw me for a sec: it looks like a planetary nebula, but where’s the central star? What are those long fingers of matter? So I started going through the scientific literature and found some good explanations. And I learned something!
CRL 618 is a star announcing it’s on its way to becoming a planetary nebula.