Across unimaginable gulfs of space and time, a star very much like our sun is dying. Its nuclear fuel used up, a series of awesome explosions rocks its surface, ejecting material outward in a luminous shell of expanding hot gases a thousand times the diameter of our solar system.
Now an image of that event, which occurred 3,000 light-years away in the Cat's Eye Nebula and was recorded by cameras aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, will be among the highlights of a spectacular exhibition that opens this week at the Walters Art Gallery.
On exhibit Mapping the Cosmos: Images from the Hubble Space Telescope opens Saturday at the Walters Art Museum, 600 N. Charles St. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Free. 410-547-9000 or thewalters.org.