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Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2009

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Blinking Nebula , Kyric Koning

Blinking Nebula

The Blinking Nebula is a planetary nebula, meaning that it was formed when as a red giant, the star ejected its outer, gaseous shell, leaving behind a hot, dense white-dwarf star. The bright, colorful gaseous cloud surrounding the star is the emission of the gas which we can see. In fact, the word "nebula" is derived by the Latin word meaning "cloud" or "mist" because of this gaseous effect. The Blinking Nebula is found in the constellation Cygnus and is approximately 2,200 light years away. The Blinking Nebula was discovered in January of 1996. The Blinking Nebula got its name because when viewed through a telescope, it appears to "blink" or disappear. This is because the nebula is faint compared to the white-dwarf center, and when viewed directly, the cones in the eye easily see the main star. The faint outer nebula can be seen if you use your peripherals because the more sensitive rods can be used.

The main star, NGC6826, is a white-dwarf star, and as we can see it appears as a bluish color because it is so hot. The star fluoresces, giving off light which interacts with the gas the star ejected when it exploded. The green fluorescence we see is because that is the color of oxygen when struck by light emission from the star. The little red object is one of the two FLIERs (Fast Low-Ionization Emission Regions). These regions are moving at supersonic speeds and are young compared to the parent nebula. Scientists still do not know whether they are "sparks" flung out from the nebula or if they are stationary objects that eject gas when their surfaces are scraped by ejected materials flowing past them from the star. The linear size of the Blinking Nebula is 9.25x10^11 kilometers.

References:
"Blinking Nebula." AstroImages.

http://www.astroimages.org/ccd/ngc6826.html

 

Pasachoff, Jay M. "Astronomy: From the Earth to the Universe, Sixth Edition." Thomson.

Right Ascension (J2000) 19:44:48
Declination (J2000) 50:31:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, B, V, and R
Date observed

November 1, 2009 (CBVR)