NGC 7293. Caldwell 63

Narrowband: Ha(R)/OIII(G,B)
Click here for full resolution image
Click here for full resolution image

NGC 7293 is usually known as the Helix Nebula. It is a quite large planetary nebula located in Aquarius. The fact that its distance is quite low (750 light years), allows it to be seen in greater detail. Some people call it  “The Eye of God”, but this name has not replaced the more popular of Helix. Surprisingly, this nebula was discovered very late, about 1824. An interesting fact is that this nebula contains knots. These knots can easily be seen in both images, but the narrowband image shows them with quite fine detail. Its central star, a white dwarf, is hot enough to be bright in the emission of X-rays. Some authors consider that this dwarf has an undetected companion, responsible for a great deal of the detected X-rays.

Additional Information


Name(s): NGC 7293, Caldwell 63, Helix Nebula

Type: Planetary Nebula

RA:  22h 29m 38s

Dec: -20ΒΊ 50’ 18”

Constellation: Aquarius

Size (arcmin): 15×12 (the halo reaches up to 28arcmin)

Magnitude: +7.6

Distance: 750 ly


Date: Several between July and September 2015

Location:, SSO near Coonabarabran, NSW Australia

Size (arcmin): 36×26

Telescope: Planewave CDK 20” f/6.8

Camera: SBIG STX16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure Narrowband: 6.5 hours (Ha: 2.5hs; OIII: 4hs)

Total exposure Broadband+Narrowband (image 2): 16h45m (L: 4.5hs; RGB: 5h45; Narrowband 6.5hs)

Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2016

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