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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2009

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Blinking Planetary Nebula, Matt Gordon

Blinking Planetary Nebula

The Blinking Planetary Nebula is an interesting nebula located in the constellation Cygnus. It is the remnant of a red giant star that died about ten thousand years ago. It is so dim that to the human eye and low powered telescopes it can appear to blink. The nebula it self is much dimmer than the central star. As the human eye shifts around. When looking right at it, the cones in the eye seen the bright star. When seen out of peripheral vision, the more sensitive rods pick up the light from the nebula. Hence it appears to blink as the eye scans the sky. When looked at through a powerful telescope it appears as a neon green nebula with a bright purple star. One of the brightest white dwarfs of any planetary nebula.

This is not the best picture of the nebula. It is small enough and far enough away that the picture does not pick up many of the small details. The image does show the beautiful colors of the nebula. The neon-green of the nebula and the purple tint of the star as seen through the nebula. Two other smaller nebula's can also be seen in the image. The angular size can be calculated at about .57 arcminutes from the information I gained from the picture. I know its distance is about 2200 light years so that means that the linear size of the nebula is about .36 light years.





Right Ascension (J2000) '19 44 48.00'
Declination (J2000) '+50 31 00.0'
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds in CBVR
Date observed

March 24, 2009 (CBVR)