Best of AOP - Diffuse Nebulae

M17: The Swan Nebula

This object is also known as the Omega Neblula, or rarely the Horseshoe Nebula. The image is deep enough that the "swan-ness" of the nebula is lost in the convoluted turmoil of gas and dust. However if you squint at the screen, you will find that the brightest parts of the nebula make a convincing bird floating on the water with the head (dark area) on the left and the wings extending up and to the right. The body of the Swan is about twelve lightyears long, but that is only the brightest portion. There are fainter, irregular clumps of gas that stretch for forty lightyears or more.

The Swan is about 5700 lightyears away towards the constellation of Sagittarius.

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Last Updated: 07-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 = 30 minutes RGB (synthetic) binned 1x1

Red = 30 minutes binned 1x1

Green = 30 minutes binned 1x1

Blue = 30 minutes binned 1x1

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