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Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2004

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Blue Snowball Nebula, Laurel DeKruyter

Blue Nebula

The Blue Snowball was discovered in 1784, by William Herschel. The Blue Snowball Nebula is a planetary nebula. The nebula is not a planet it is only called that because it is disk shaped. It glows brightly due to ultraviolet radiation emitted from the core of a dying low-mass star. A nebula will disappear within a million years and the glow of the planetary nebula fades. This nebula is located to the West of Andromeda and is estimated to be about 4,000 light years away from our solar system. The Blue Snowball is observed to be very bright, with a very high surface brightness. It is a very small nebula (only 2.2 arcminutes in diameter).

The image itself contains the planetary nebula, which is pictured as green. There is also a near by star that is pictured here that appears very bright. The nebula is disk shaped. This specific picture is over exposed and so the colors it contains is not the true colors. The Blue Snowball actually contains a lot of blue color, and with a more powerful telescope we would be able to see the true image even better. The nebula would actually look very blue.

Bennett, "The Cosmic Perspective"


Right Ascension (J2000) 22:29:36
Declination (J2000) -20:48:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR

November 3, 2004, 8:30 UT (C)