Helix Nebula (NGC7293) in Aquarius

(RA 22h 29.6m , Dec. -2048', 7.3 mag., >770" in diameter)


This is the largest and closest planetary nebula. It can be spoted in binoculars as a soft glow (about 1/2 diameter of the Moon) about 11 NW of Fomalhaut (a Pisces Australis) and almost 8 SW of d Aquarii (see finder chart below).

The mosaic above was assembled from two "tiles" taken on Oct. 19, 20 & 21, 1998 from Sooke, BC using Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera on Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope, autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC camera on piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. Each tile is composed of W (12 or 13 x 4 min.) and CMY (9 x 4 min. each) integrations. Images were processed with AIP4WIN and Corel PhotoPaint 8 was used for Lab color adjustment and mosaic assembly.

Wide field image below shows not only the central part of this magnificent nebula but also its faint outer loop (upper right). This stack of 13 exposures (60 sec. each) was captured with 8 inch SCT at f3.0 and Cookbook 245LDC CCD camera on August 24, 2000 from Starfest star party near Mt.Forest, Ontario. The image was processed in AIP4WIN software.

North is toward the right of both images.

Map created in Guide 7.0 - 745' x 10. North is up.

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Jan Wisniewski