The Saturn Nebula (NGC 7009)


About this image
This is a one-minute exposure taken on the night of September 26th 1994 (UT of observation 27/09/94:04:46). This photograph shows a region 90 arc seconds square, and is displayed in pseudo-color, where the brightness is mapped to a color so as to show more of the fainter features (in white) while not saturating the bright regions (in red). Observing conditions were not very good during this phase of commissioning, so that this image has a "seeing" measurement (average FWHM of several stars) of about 0.9 arc seconds.
Orientation: N is up, with W to the left.

About this object
The Saturn Nebula, NGC 7009, is in the constellation Aquarius. A shell of glowing gas surrounds a central hot star. The nebula was formed by the nova of the central star - a sudden release of a large portion of the star's mass. This planetary nebula is 3900 light years from Earth, and about half an arc minute (or half a light year) across.
Location: 21 04.2 -11 22 (2000).


Comments by e-mail to nsharp@noao.edu