5 February 2017 | The Blinking Eye

Blinking Eye Nebula Stephane Gonzales

Image credit & copyright: Stephane Gonzales | Click image to enlarge

Image Data
  • Date: January 2017
  • Location: France
  • Camera: ZWO ASI224MC
  • Optics: Newton 300 f4 + barlow 2,5x
  • Exposure: 12.000 x 400ms

French Astrophotographer Stephane Gonzales used a 300mm F4 reflector telescope and 12.000 frames of 0.4s to image the Blinking Eye Nebula, NGC 6826.

This planetary nebula is unusual in that it has 2 distinct bubbles and it lies at a distance of about 3600 light years, spanning approximately 0.5 light years across.

In Stephanes image you can see the inner core has a ring formation at its edge, where the outer layer of gas is compressed by the stellar winds from the star at the core. The surrounding outer bubble, comprised mostly of ionised Oxygen, shows structures, and a second outer ring of compressed gases can be seen in the top left of the image.

To each side, the red / pink ionsied gas is that of Nitrogen, and is known as a Fast Low Ionisation Emission Region, or FLIER. A FLIER is a is volume of gas with a low ionisation, moving at Supersonic speeds. They lie in the axis of symmetry of the planetary nebula.

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