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Skull Nebula

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:34 pm

Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) have captured a beautiful image of a planetary nebula called the Skull Nebula.

Also known as NGC 246 or Caldwell 56, the Skull Nebula is located 1,671 light-years away in the southern constellation of Cetus.

Discovered on November 27, 1785 by the German-born British astronomer, the nebula is approximately 6 light-years across.

The Skull Nebula formed when a Sun-like star expelled its outer layers in its old age, leaving behind its naked core — a white dwarf named HIP 3678 — one of two stars that can be seen at the very center of the nebula.

Even though the Skull Nebula has been known for centuries, only in 2014 did astronomers discover that HIP 3678 and its companion are concealing a third star situated at the heart of the nebula.

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Dragon
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Post by Dragon Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:36 pm

Skull Nebula Image_9009-Skull-Nebula
Image credit: ESO

This image, taken by the FORS 2 instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope shows the Skull Nebula, a planetary nebula 1,671 light-years away in the constellation of Cetus.

Source / Image Courtesy


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Post by Dragon Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:37 pm



Zooming in on the Skull Nebula

This video sequence starts from a wide field of the region of the sky around NGC 246, the Skull Nebula, and closes in on the planetary nebula.


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