Instead, this object — known as NGC 2022 — shows what happens when an old star, similar in size to the sun, grows old and casts off layers of gas.
That's the next stage of evolution after a sun-like star (a star between three and eight masses of the sun) finishes converting hydrogen into helium in its core using nuclear fusion.
Eventually, stars of this type run out of hydrogen in the core.
This newly expanded star, called a red giant, then sloughs off its outer layers of gas into space.
"More than half of such a star's mass can be shed in this manner, forming a shell of surrounding gas," Hubble officials .
"At the same time, the star's core shrinks and grows hotter, emitting ultraviolet light that causes the expelled gases to glow."
Related: How To Tell Star Types Apart (Infographic) The core of the star is visible in the center of the image, glowing a fierce yellow-orange.