From the National Optical Astronomical Observatories
Abell 39 is a beautiful example of a planetary nebula with its beautiful and rare spherical symmetry. This picture was taken at the WIYN Observatory's 3.5-m (138-inch) telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, AZ, in 1997 through a blue-green filter that isolates the light emitted by oxygen atoms in the nebula at wavelength of 500.7 nanometers. The nebula has a diameter of about five light-years, and the thickness of the spherical shell is about a third of a light-year. The nebula itself is roughly 7,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Hercules.
Image Title: The Planetary Nebula Abell 39
Credit: N.A. Sharp, REU program/AURA/NOAO/NSFF
Text based on accompanying on-line materials.
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Last Modified On: Saturday, February 24, 2001