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Planetary Nebula Sampler

Abell 39

This nebula has the rare property of being extremely round and limb-brightened, exactly as the perfect, simple, theoretical planetary nebula ought to. A high resolution version of this nebula was taken at the WIYN 3.5-m telescope.

Shape: spherical shell, like a bubble

Distance: approx. 7,000 light years

Location: Hercules constellation

RA: 00 28 20.00 DEC: -11 23 24.0

Size: 6 light years across

Abundances/Description: It contains about half the amount of oxygen as the Sun. The central star is slightly off center but the cause of this shift is unknown. Note that you can see small distant galaxies through the image of the nebula.

Discoverer: George Abell - (1966)

Other Links:

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Viewing with an amateur Telescope

News Story from Spaceflight Now

News Story from BBC News