Mano Prieto Observatory

NGC7293 Helix Nebula

NGC7293 Helix Nebula

Constellation: Aquarius
Distance: 650 Light Years

Comments: The Helix Nebula, a planetary nebula in the constellation Aquarius, has the largest angular diameter of any planetary, nearly half a degree (3 light years in diameter), and at a distance of 650 light years, is the closest to our sun. The nebula is really a cylinder pointed toward the earth, giving the appearance of a bubble or helix shape. While exploring the Helix with the HST, astronomers discovered thousands of "cometary knots" of gas and dust with "heads" billions of miles across, and tails pointing away from the star which shed the material making up these cosmic wonders. Apparently, fast moving shells of nebular gas overunning cooler, denser, slower shells ejected by the star during earlier expansion of its outer atmosphere formed the comet or droplet shaped condensations.

Date Imaged: November 2007
Location: Ft. Davis, TX

Optics: 12.5" RCOS Truss
Focal Length: 2808mm @f9
Mount: Paramount ME
Camera: STL6303E
Focuser: RCOS
Guiding: OAG with guide camera
Filters: True Balance LRGB 2"

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