CCD Images of Planetary Nebulae


Planetary Nebulae represent the late stages of stellar evolution in which the outer layers of the star have been shed and are now being ionized by the core of the star which is destined to be come a white dwarf

  • For a schematic figure of the structure of a star that leads to the formation of a Planetary Nebula Click Here . For a schematic representation of how a planetary nebula is ionized Click Here


    Following are images of some famous and not-so-famous Planetary Nebulae. The images are designed to show various ionization structures and filaments:

  • Ring Nebulae: M57 image -------> More About M57 --> Nice Color CCD Picture --> Very Deep M57 Image

  • Abell 1 Broadband Image

  • Abell 2 Broadband Image

  • Abell 2 Narrowband Image Note that the outer structure is more well-defined here in the light of [O III] which is at a wavelength of 5007 Angstroms. This wavelength is also in the center of the Visual (V) band, and so V-band images of Planetary Nebulae are dominated by this emission line rather than continuum emission.

  • Abell 3 Narrowband Image This particular planetary nebulae does not have very sharp ionization features but instead is rather diffuse.

  • NGC 650 Narrowband Image In constrast to Abell 3, this shows rather spectacular structure. In this deep image one sees that the nebulae has many filaments and is clearly non-spherical. At other contrast settings, one can see the sharp ionization structures near the ionizing star as well as an overall appearance that would make Batman happy. Click here to see this image.
  • The Bruce Balick Collection - Page I

  • The Bruce Balick Collection - Page II

  • The Bruce Balick Collection - Page III

    Superior color renditions of Balick's objects are claimed to be found here


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