Image Credit & Copyright: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. CLICK photo for larger view and see below for information and links.

This amazing photo comes to us from the iconic NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and it’s of a rather messy planetary nebula cataloged as New General Catalog 6326 (NGC 6326). Located about 11,000 light years distant in the southern constellation of Ara “the Altar” what you’re looking at is a star that’s met the end of its life. As the star dies, it releases its outer layers into the surrounding universe. The now exposed interior of the star fires off massive amounts of ultraviolet radiation which excites the previously released material, rendering it aglow.

For a more detailed explanation of what planetary nebulae are check this out;

NAME: NGC 6326.

WHAT IS IT?: Planetary nebula.

HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: 11,000 light years.

APPARENT MAGNITUDE?: A pretty dim 12.

WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Ara “the Altar.”

WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC): RA 17h 20m 46.4s / DEC -51° 45′ 14″.

ESA Hubble Space Telescope page for this image:

SIMBAD data page for this object:

European Southern Observatory (ESO) public images page:

Image | This entry was posted in Astronomy (Learning), Astrophotography (DSOs), Images, Nebula (Planetary), Stars (Non-Sun Related) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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