Friday, April 20, 2012

Emission Nebula NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula

Supernova Remnant NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula
Click on the image for full resolution (1.29 MB)

This image of the Crescent Nebula or NGC 6888 was obtained using the Wide Field Camera on the Isaac Newton Telescope. The Crescent Nebula, also known as NGC 6888, is a nebula lighted up by a central Wolf-Rayet star, WR 136 aka PPM 84423 or HD192163, whose ultraviolet radiation is responsible for heating and ionising most of the material ejected by the star during previous evolutionary phases. The strong winds blown by the central, massive star are interacting with the previously expelled material and as a result, the nebula shows a complex structure which resembles a crescent red Moon. The Crescent Nebula surrounds the Wolf-Rayet star HD192163, seen in Hydrogen-α emission. This was observed as part of the Isaac Newton Telescope/Wide Field Camera Photometric Hydrogen-α Survey (IPHAS) of the Galactic Plane. It is a three-colour composite made from data collected using filters to isolate the light emitted by hydrogen alpha (H-alpha) and doubly ionised oxygen (OIII) atoms, and coded in the image as red, green (25% H-alpha and 75% OIII) and blue.
The full resolution image weighs 1.29 MB, so please be patient when downloading!
Credit: Daniel López (IAC)
Image enhancement: Jean-Baptiste Faure

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