This is what happens when a star –much like our sun- dies. It’s a * Planetary Nebula* seen on its side from earth. Sadly, we can’t fly around it; It’s too far away and far too big.
If we could fly around it though, you would discover that this thing has the shape of a Big Fat Donut. When a star dies, it swells up to a huge size and throws away its outermost layers. The huge cloud you see here, is that thrown away stuff. Right in the middle lies the remaining core of the dying star. The core is hefty enough to illuminate the whole spectacle. It looks like an aggressive explosion, and that’s exactly what is it.
But it is so huge, that you wouldn’t see any movement in it, even if you kept staring for the rest of your life.
(the text (nor is the picture) isn’t originally mine, I found a piece of paper where it was printed on. I have no idea who wrote it or where it exactly comes from, but I thought it is beautiful)