NGC 7009, the Saturn Nebula   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Planetary Nebula in Aquarius

Planetary nebulae have nothing to do with planets except that some of them are round, and therefore they can look like dim and distant planets through a telescope.  They actually come in a variety of shapes, and NGC 7009 happens to have two thin projections that make it look a bit like the planet Saturn when its rings are seen on edge.  The bright central region of this nebula has a distinct blue-green appearance, though it is greatly overexposed in this image, and many fine structural details of the nebula are obscured.  The Saturn Nebula is estimated to be about 1400 light years away.

Image details: 16 images, each 150 seconds at ISO 1600, taken with a Canon 400D camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/10. 

October 2008