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NGC7293 Helix Nebula


NGC7293 Helix Nebula

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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