Space Saturday IV

This week’s picture comes to us from the constellation Lyra.

This is the Ring Nebula also known as M57. This planetary nebula resides in our own Milky Way Galaxy approximately 2300 light years away. The picture at right shows the inner rings (and central dying white dwarf star) at approximately 1 light year across. Both images are false color with the bluer colors representing higher temperature gas and the red representing cooler gas (as the gas moves farther away from the central star, it cools down).

The top image is able to show a few very interesting features. One is that the hydrogen gas rings actually continue to quite a far distance (that the image at right does not show). Two is that the composite image is also able to show a field of galaxies that reside beyond the ring nebula (as well as our own Milky Way). One to especially note is galaxy IC 1296 with its spiral arms clearly visible. Looking at the larger view of the top image (both are clickable for larger versions), you can clearly make out numerous faint galaxies. IC 1296 resides about 200 million light years away.

Space Saturday Archive

Ή χάρις του κυρίου ημων Ίησου Χριστου μεθ’ υμων.

Categories: Blogging, Science
  1. August 10th, 2005 at 06:49 | #1

    Wow, those are some AMAZING pictures! Nice site!

  2. August 17th, 2005 at 08:57 | #2

    You should mention where you got them so people can look up more info if they want. It’s also a copyright issue. I think the second is HST, and I swear I saw the first on APOD (but they’re not the actual photographer).

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