The Helix Nebula in Hydrogen and Oxygen

2019 February 13

The Helix Nebula in Hydrogen and Oxygen
Image Credit & Copyright:
Andrew Campbell

Explanation: Is the Helix Nebula looking at you? No, not in any biological sense, but it does look quite like an eye. The Helix Nebula is so named because it also appears that you are looking down the axis of a helix. In actuality, it is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry, including radial filaments and extended outer loops. The Helix Nebula (aka NGC 7293) is one of brightest and closest examples of a planetary nebula, a gas cloud created at the end of the life of a Sun-like star. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce. The featured picture, taken in the light emitted by oxygen (shown in blue) and hydrogen (shown in red), was created from 74 hours of exposure over three months from a small telescope in a backyard of suburban Melbourne, Australia. A close-up of the inner edge of the Helix Nebula shows complex gas knots of unknown origin.

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  1. 蝴 蓝说道:


    • NASA中文说道:

      图像提供与版权: Andrew Campbell
      说明:螺旋星云在看你吗?没这回事,至少不是任何生物学上的行为,不过它的确看来很像一只眼睛。它之所以称为螺旋星云,是因为它貌似一个我们顺轴望进去的螺旋。实际上,我们现在知道它具有出奇复杂的几何结构,包括向外环伸展的辐射状云气丝。螺旋星云(亦称NGC 7293)是离我们最近最明亮的行星状星云之一,而行星状星云则是类太阳恒星在生命末期时,所产生的气体云。星云中心残留下来,将来会成为白矮星的恒星核,辐射出非常高能量的光,激发先前抛出的气体辐射出荧光。这张摄于氧(蓝色)和氢(红色)辐射波段的主题照片,建构自一部位于澳洲. 墨尔本郊区后院的小望远镜,在三个月期间累积的74小时影像数据。针对螺旋星云内边界进行的细部观测显示,该处有许多来源不明的复杂云气纠结。