Nebulae - Glittering Lights - Marco Lorenzi
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The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293)

The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293)

A mere seven hundred light years from Earth, in the constellation Aquarius, a sun-like star is dying. Its last few thousand years have produced the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a well studied and nearby example of a Planetary Nebula, typical of this final phase of stellar evolution. A total of 16.5 hours of exposure time have gone in to creating this deep view of the nebula. It shows details of the Helix's brighter inner region, about 3 light-years across, but also follows fainter outer halo features that give the nebula a span of well over six light-years. The white dot at the Helix's center is this Planetary Nebula's hot, central star. A simple looking nebula at first glance, the Helix is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry (text adapted from APOD).

Apo TEC140 (140/f7.2) - FLI Proline 16803 - Ha (630m) OIII (600m 5nm + 240m 3nm) L (270m) R (80m) G (190m) B (170m) - Warrumbungle Observatory, Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia

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