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.)
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.