NGC7293 - The Helix Nebula

Planetary Nebula in Aquarius

Uploaded 11/02/08

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 The Helix is one of the largest planetaries in angular extent in the entire sky. Spanning a huge 16 arcminutes for the brightest portions, outer shells add to its size to over half a degree. Bright at an integrated magnitude of 7.5, the central star is 13.5, bright for such an object. Also, the number of background galaxies found here is stunning. Over two dozen faint galaxies can be seen in the largest image. There are half a dozen inside the planetaries confines itself, can you find them all?

There are several interesting features here. There is a deep red stripe on the rim at about the 2 o'clock position, in which was seen in the IR, but not in the visible. (My chip cover slip is CRGB) Also note the extended shell to the upper left from a prior outburst of the central star. Finally, the "Holy Grail" of Helix images can be seen here as well - the cometary globules pointing inward from the red ring into the cyan inner disk. (Teal for D.G.)

Instrument: 12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian Platform: Astrophysics 1200 QMD CCD Camera: SBIG 10XME NABG with Enhanced Cooling Guider: Meade DSI Pro Exposure: LRGB = 60:20:20:20 (RGB Binned 2x2)+60m Ha RGB Combine Ratio: 1: 1.05: 1.11 Filters: AstroDon RGB Tricolor Location: Payson, Arizona Elevation: 5150 ft. Sky: Seeing FWHM = 5.5 arcsec (Maxim DL - 10min subframe), Transparency 8/10 Outside Temperature: 55 F CCD Temperature: -30 C Image Processing Tools: Maxim DL: Calibration, deblooming (Starizona Debloomer), aligning, stacking Gralaks Sigma: Stacking PixInsight: Curves, Deconvolution, noise reduction Photoshop CS2: Curves, Color Correction, Gradient removal (Grad Xterminator), Cleanup HOME GALAXIES EMISSION NEBS REFLECTION NEBS COMETS GLOBULARS OPEN CLUST PLANETARIES LINKS