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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr111 Photography Projects, Spring 2007

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Planetary Nebula (PLN 194+2.1), Chris Kowalewski

My target was to take a picture of a planetary nebulae that had not had a picture taken before. To someone who has not taken an astronomy course they may simply look at this picture and intrepret it as a bunch of stars. Those who have taken an astronomy course know better however. The green object in the center of the picture is the planetary nebulae in question. As you can see it is slightly larger than the surrounding stars and it releases a beatiful green glow. Hotter stars release a white or blue glow while cooler stars appear to be more red and orange. Green is not a color that stars portray, the different gases and plasmas that planetary nebulae consist of give this planetary nebulae its beatiful green tint. The angular size of this planetary nebulae is .045' x .03'.

Planetary Nebula are formed by gases and plasmas from certain types of dying stars. They are important because they play a role in returning material to the interstellar medium. They have very complex and varied morphologies. It is not understood completely how these varied morphologies occur but binary central stars, stellar winds, and magnetic fields are thought to play a role. About 10,000 years will pass between its formation and recombination of the star. Determining the distance of a Planetary nebula has been a long standing problem in their study.

References:
"Planetary Nebula." <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_nebula>.

"Little Dumbell Nebula." The Encycolpedia of Astrobiology Astronomy and Spaceflight <http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/L/Little_Dumbbell_Nebula.html>

Right Ascension (J2000) 06:25:55.1
Declination (J2000) 17:47:13
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in BVRC
Date observed

March 1, 2007 (BVRC)