Best of AOP - Planetary Nebulae

NGC 6781

This is an almost a perfect bubble of gas cast off by a single star that has died. The bubble continues to expand; it is approximately two light years across now. Its imperfection (from our perspective) is due to photodissociation (yes... this is a real word) by interstellar UV radiation. Energetic photons from nearby bright stars decompose the gas bubble. Note the dim central blue star (a blue/white white dwarf).

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Last Updated: 22-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

One iteration of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp was applied to the luminance image.

Luminance = 60 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 10 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 10 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 10 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF