Nearby Planetary Nebula Iridescent Glory Showcased on Astronomy Day

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*Description*: This cropped version of the Helix Nebula mosaic shows cometary-filaments embedded along a portion of the inner rim of the nebula’s red and blue gas ring. At a distance of 650 light-years, the Helix is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to Earth. The composite picture is a seamless blend of ultra-sharp NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Advanced Camera for Surveys images combined with the wide view of the Mosaic Camera on the National Science Foundation’s 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, near Tucson, Ariz. Astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) assembled the images into a mosaic. The mosaic was blended with a wider photograph taken by the Mosaic Camera. Technical facts about this news release: About the Object Object Name: Helix Nebula, NGC 7293 Object Description: Planetary Nebula Position (J2000): R.A. 22h 29m 48.20s Dec. -20° 49′ 26.0″ Constellation: Aquarius Distance: About 650 light-years (200 parsecs) Dimensions: The image is roughly 27 arcminutes (5.1 light-years or 1.6 parsecs) across. About the Data Data Description: Hubble data have been superimposed onto ground-based data taken by Travis Rector (NRAO) at the 0.9 meter telescope located on Kitt Peak, Tucson, AZ (NOAO/AURA/NSF). The HST data are from proposal 9700. Processed images may be obtained from the Helix MAST web site [ ]. The Hubble Helix Team includes M. Meixner, H.E. Bond, G. Chapman (STScI), Y.-H. Chu (U. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), P. Cox (Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, France), W. Crothers, L.M. Frattare, R.Gilliland (STScI), M. Guerrero R. Gruendl (U. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), F. Hamilton, (STScI), R.Hook (STScI/ESO), P. Huggins (New York Univ.), I. Jordan, C.D. Keyes, A. Koekemoer (STScI), K.Kwitter (Williams College), Z.G. Levay, P.R. McCullough, M. Mutchler, K. Noll (STScI), C.R. O’Dell (Vanderbilt Univ.), N. Panagia, M. Reinhart, M. Robberto, K. Sahu, D. Soderblom, L. Stanghellini, C. Tyler, J. Valenti, A. Welty, R. Williams (STScI). Instrument: ACS/WFC Mosaic I Camera on KPNO 0.9m telescope Exposure Date(s): November 19, 2002 November 3, 2001 Exposure Time: 4.5 hours 25 minutes Filters: F502N ([O III]), F658N (H alpha) k1009 (H alpha), k1014 ([O III]) About the Image Image Credit: NASA, NOAO, ESA, the Hubble Helix Nebula Team, M. Meixner (STScI), and T.A. Rector (NRAO) Release Date: May 9, 2003 Orientation: Iridescent Glory of Nearby Helix Nebula [ ] *News Release Number:*: STScI-2003-11b NASA Identifier: SPD-HUBBLE-STScI-2003-11b


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