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iSGTW Image of the week - The Water Bearer springs a gas leak

Image of the week - The Water Bearer springs a gas leak

The power of grid-enabled Montage software allows astronomers and star-gazers alike to feast their eyes on the Helix nebula in its entirety.
Created with IRSA On-Demand Image Mosaic Service and
Montage v3.0.

The Helix Nebula, also known as NGC 7293, spans a width about half that of the full moon and is located in the constellation Aquarius, the Water Bearer.

Although not visible to the unaided eye, a telescopic view, like that shown here, reveals this to be a planetary nebula, one of the closest such nebulae to the Sun.

The Helix nebula was created when the central star exhausted its store of hydrogen fuel, causing the star's core to collapse into a hot remnant-known as a blue subdwarf-and its outer layers to expand into the complex ring of gas and dust seen here.

This nebula, because of its immense size on the sky, is difficult to study in its entirety via conventional methods. The image shown here was created using grid-enabled Montage software and encompasses the full nebula. It is a combination of B- and R-band images from the Digitized Sky Survey 2, along with Ks-band images from the Two Micron All-Sky Survey.

- J. Davy Kirkpatrick and Bruce Berriman, Montage

Read more about Montage in iSGTW...

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