Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ring Nebula

Here's a quick shot of the Ring Nebula taken with the 14 inch this evening:

The image is a quickly-processed stack of around 11 x 20 second exposures. The Ring is the expelled outer layers of a sun-like star; this is how our own star will die. The actual shape of the ring in 3D is football-like and we are looking down the long axis of the ball. The blue, ionized helium of the inner ring is not visible in this image. The cyan color is the glow of hydrogen and oxygen; the red of the outer ring is nitrogen and sulfur. The Ring is about a light year across and 2,000 light years away from us.