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Helix Nebula: It is one of the most extended Planetary Nebula in the sky, but not so easy to observe, because of its low surface brightness. The star in the center is the dying sun that is the cause of the beautifully colored emission structure of the expelled gas hitting interstellar matter.

In this image the outer layers of the expelled gas can also be recognized, showing the true extent of the nebula, which is much larger than normally seen in images of this object.

For a combined Hubble and ESO image see here.

The image was taken at the observatory of IAS at Hakos Farm in Namibia.

Object Helix Nebula
Category IAS Hakos, Namibia
Designation NGC 7293
Constellation Aquarius
Optics Keller 20 inch Cassegrain f/3 in corrected primary focus
Mount Liebscher GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M with internal CFW 5
Exposure 3 x 10min Baader H-alpha filter, 3 x 5min each Baader LRGB filterset. Maxim DL for image acquisition
Calibration Dark + Flat Frame
Guiding Selfguiding
Processing Maxim DL5, CCDStack, Photoshop. Color Code L/Ha,R/Ha,GB
Location-Date IAS-Hakos, Namibia - 4 Dec 2010
Remark Tonemap technique was applied to H-alpha
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