Click here for a 1800 x 1200 image of the above image (606 KB)

Click here to see the Helix Nebula in monochrome Hydrogen-alpha light

 

 

The Details
Object
NGC 7293 The Helix Nebula in Aquarius - HaRGB
Optics
Astro-Physics 12" Mak-Cass f/8
Platform
Astro-Physics 1600 Mount with absolute encoders
Camera
FLI 16803 Proline CCD
Filters
Tru-Balance HaRGB filter set
Date
27 June, 05/18 July and 07/08/10 August 2014
Location
Las Campanas Observatory, Chile
Exposure
Ha 32 x 1800 sec, RGB 6 ea x450 sec, all 1x1 bin
Software
ACP, Maxim DL/CCD, , CCDStack 2, Photoshop CS5
Orientation
Field of View: 50'31" x 33'37" centered on RA 22h29m37s
DEC-20°50'01" (2000.0) . North angle 0.30°; east 90° CCW from north
Notes
Perhaps one of the closest planetary nebula to earth at a distance of 450 light years, the Helix is a stunning example of the evolutionary life of a star. The gaseous nitrogen and hydrogen in the 1.5 light year span of the main ring is ionized by UV radiation from the nebula's central star, causing it to glow and reveal its exquisite structure.

This work was a collaboration between myself and Roland Christen of Astro-Physics, Inc., who provided key processing insight into enhancing the details in this image.

 

 

 

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No reproduction of these images are permitted without prior approval of the author.