Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Planetary Nebula NGC 2818 from Hubble
Posted on 07/13/2014 6:09:41 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: NGC 2818 is a beautiful planetary nebula, the gaseous shroud of a dying sun-like star. It could well offer a glimpse of the future that awaits our own Sun after spending another 5 billion years or so steadily using up hydrogen at its core, and then finally helium, as fuel for nuclear fusion. Curiously, NGC 2818 seems to lie within an open star cluster, NGC 2818A, that is some 10,000 light-years distant toward the southern constellation Pyxis (the Compass). At the distance of the star cluster, the nebula would be about 4 light-years across. But accurate velocity measurements show that the nebula's own velocity is very different from the cluster's member stars. The result is strong evidence that NGC 2818 is only by chance found along the line of sight to the star cluster and so may not share the cluster's distance or age. The Hubble image is a composite of exposures through narrow-band filters, presenting emission from nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms in the nebula as red, green, and blue hues.
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[Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA)]
Blue, green, and blue-green are among my favorite colors.
Thank you for posting this gorgeous APOD, Mr. Civilizations.
Something to look forward to! :-)
If I had a space ship (a real one, not one with rockets), I’d warp out to one of these beautiful objects, float at just the right distance so it filled my entire force-field protected wall, put on some classical music, pour a glass of wine, and just look at it.
I’ll bet you that when you join the galactic confederation version of AAA, you get a guide to the perfect parking overlooks in the galaxy for a vacation.
And if you join the galactic confederation of AA, you can’t have the wine. ;’)
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