Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 13, 1998
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In the Center of the Dumbbell Nebula
Credit: FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT, ESO

Explanation: Here's part of the Dumbbell Nebula that you can't see through binoculars. To see this, we suggest a sophisticated spectrograph attached to a telescope with an 8-meter aperture. Pictured above is the central part of the Dumbbell Nebula, also known as M27 and NGC 6853. The Dumbbell is a planetary nebula created by the aging bright star visible just right of center. The nebula, located in the constellation Vulpecula, is thousands of years old. Visible in this false-color photograph is glowing hydrogen gas (green) and enigmatical globules of dense molecular gas and dust (red).

Tomorrow's picture: The Largest Ozone Hole Yet

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.