<p><strong>Planetary nebula Sh2-174 "blooms" like a rose in a picture released this week by the <a href="http://www.noao.edu/about-noao.php">National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)</a>.</strong></p><p>Nebulae are created when low-mass stars shed their outer layers at the end of their lives. The core of the dying star, called a white dwarf, usually remains at the center of the nebula.</p><p>But not so for the oddly positioned Sh2-174: Its white dwarf is located in the right part of the nebula, in the blue gas pictured above. (<a href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/photos/nebulae-gallery/">See more nebula pictures</a>.)</p>

Space Rose

Planetary nebula Sh2-174 "blooms" like a rose in a picture released this week by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO).

Nebulae are created when low-mass stars shed their outer layers at the end of their lives. The core of the dying star, called a white dwarf, usually remains at the center of the nebula.

But not so for the oddly positioned Sh2-174: Its white dwarf is located in the right part of the nebula, in the blue gas pictured above. (See more nebula pictures.)

Image courtesy T.A. Rector and H. Schweiker, UAA/WIYN/NOAO/NSF

Space Pictures This Week: Space Rose, Ghostly Horses

A celestial rose "blooms," star trails swirl, and an aurora turns horses ghostly in this week's best space pictures.

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