Deep Sky

Constellation: Cygnus
This is a planetary nebula, some 3,000 light-years away from us.  It is one of the brightest and smallestnebulas, as it is only about 600 years old.  Discovered by Edouard Stephan in 1878, in MarseilleObservatory, he used a 31 inch reflector telescope.  Quite a bit bigger than our 8 incher!

As you can see the nebula is shaped like a ' prolate elllipsoidal shell' (whatever that means).  It is expandingat 17 kilometers per second which indicates it is a little hot dude.  The expanding halo so far has a mass about threetimes that of our sun, and about 100 times more massive then the ionized central region of our sun.  There is something else pretty cool about this nebula.  The white dwarf in the center of this youngsteris approx .7 times the mass of our sun, and is radating 7,700 times the Suns luminosity!!  Only thing I can say is bring your best sun glasses!