Cocoon of a New White Dwarf
Like a butterfly, a white dwarf star begins its life by casting off the cocoon that enclosed it.
In the cocoon-like structure above, the planetary nebula designated NGC 2440, contains one of the hottest white dwarfs known to scientists. The white dwarf can be seen as the bright dot near the photo's center. Our sun eventually will become a "white dwarf butterfly," but not for another 5 billion years.
Image credit: NASA/R. Ciardullo (PSU)/H. Bond (STScI)