We all know that if you heat something up, it glows. This amazing star, with its extreme temperature and the spectacular glowing nebula that surrounds it, is of more than mere academic interest. As we'll see a little later in this chapter, the real action is happening deep within a star's core, where the fury of nuclear fusion generates all a star's heat and light for up to billions of years. Often the brightness and complexity of a planetary nebula hides its central star from view. So white dwarfs are buried deep within their planetary nebulas, and are so hot that they don't emit much visible light, but instead radiate mainly in the ultraviolet and X-ray parts of the spectrum. Our Sun is a reasonably average star. So 2, light-years is around 12, trillion miles! What happens if a star is even hotter than blue Sirius? This glowing gas cloud, referred to by astronomers as "NGC " but more commonly known as the "Red Spider Nebula," is about 2, light-years away toward the constellation of Sagittarius.
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