Color composite adaptive optics image of the planetary nebula M2-9 using the ALTAIR adaptive optics system on Gemini North. This image reveals remarkable details in the dynamic gas outflows from a dying star. It is thought that our Sun might meet a similar fate in 4-5 billion years once its hydrogen nuclear fuel becomes scarce and instabilities expel gas into space. The concentric shells of gas are still a mystery to astronomers and these data will help to understand the complexities surrounding this beautiful object.
Image made from near-infrared images in K' band (green), K+H2=1-0 (violet) and FeII (orange). Field of view is 38.5 x 42.5 arcseconds with the Gemini Near Infrared Imager (NIRI) at f/14.