THE LITTLE GHOST IN THE SERPENT BEARER
Photo Credit: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. CLICK photo for larger view and look below for information and links.
Discovered by William Herschel in 1874, NGC 6369 or the Little Ghost Nebula is a planetary nebula roughly 2000 light years away in the constellation Ophiucus. This is a classic view of what a planetary nebula looks like as there’s really nothing too unusual going on here. Just a star that’s lived its life and has reached the end of the road. In doing so it’s released much of its material out into the surrounding cosmos. The now exposed inner layers of the now white dwarf bathe the surrounding material in ultraviolet radiation, rendering it aglow. As with most planetary nebulae, this is a pretty good look at what our sun will experience in about 5 billion years once it has expended its hydrogen fuel in its core.
You have to wonder, when this becomes us (assuming we were still here), I wonder if any alien race out there will look upon our planetary nebula, having likely just wiped our species out? And if they do see our Suns death did they know we were here, and if not, do they look into the cosmos yearning to know if they’re alone as we do?
For a more detailed definition of what a planetary nebula it and how it’s formed, which this out: https://danspace77.com/what-are-planetary-nebulae/
NAME: NGC 6369, The Little Ghost Nebula.
WHAT IS IT?: Planetary Nebula.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: Approximately 2000+ light years distant.
HOW BIG IS IT?: Approximately 1 light year across.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE: 12.9.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Ophiucus the “Serpent Bearer.”
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 17h 29m 20.4s / DEC −23° 45′ 37.9″.
NASA Hubblesite News Center page for this image: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2002/25/
NASA Hubblesite page for this image: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/wallpaper/pr2002025a/
NASA APOD page for this image: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap021108.html