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Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2009

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Planetary Nebula 86-8.1, Micah Maley


This picture is of a planetary nebulae. Planetary nebula are made up of material that has been thrown off of some stars that are coming to the end of their life and have burned off all of their hydrogen gas. The expanding of the gas away from the star then creates the different colorful and shining shapes in which they are found. These nebulae have been found in all the following shapes: Dumbbell, Cork or Little Dumbbell, Butterfly, Ring and Owl.

The planetary nebula in this picture is in the shape of a "cork" and it is the small oblong spot on the left side of the picture. This shape is created by a ring surrounding the the star which blocks the gas from spreading out in all directions. like a doughnut. So the gas can only go up or down to escape the ring which gives it a bar or "cork" shape. Also by looking closer the nebula is a greenish color (oxygen gas) which shows that it is not a star. The size of the nebula is estimated to be about 0.8586 light years across. Because the distance of the nebula is not known the distance was calculated from the distance of the planetary nebula M57. M57 is about 6 times larger than this nebula so the distance to this nebula is roughly 6 times farther. That is why it looks so small.

Arnette, Bill. "Planetary Nebula." Nine Planets. <http://astro.nineplanets.org/twn/types.html>.

Hynes, Steven J., 1991. Planetary Nebulae. Willmann-Bell, Inc. <http://www.seds.org/messier/planetar.html>

Right Ascension (J2000) 22:29:36
Declination (J2000) -20:48:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

November 12, 1558 (C)
November 13, 1558 (BVR)