EarthSky | October deep sky: Helix Nebula and extra


View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Mainak Chakraborty in Kolkata, India, captured this picture of the Helix Nebula on October 2, 2021. Mainak wrote: “God’s Eye, or the Helix Nebula, was my first target for my dedicated astrocamera, the QHY 294C Pro. It’s an outstanding experience to use this camera with this nebula. Everything worked like a charm. This planetary nebula lies 650 light-years away, in the constellation of Aquarius and is known by the catalog number NGC 7293. The image is cropped to get a detailed view.” Thank you, Mainak! See extra October deep sky pictures beneath.

October deep sky photographs

Explore the depths of October’s deep sky with these superb photographs taken by photographers and buddies of EarthSky. You, too, can spot the Helix Nebula in Aquarius, the Orion and Flame nebulas in Orion, and the Heart and Soul Nebulas in Cassiopeia from dark-sky locations.

The Helix Nebula

NGC 7293, the catalog identify for the Helix Nebula, is situated within the constellation of Aquarius. The Helix Nebula shines at magnitude 7.3. This is vibrant sufficient to identify in small telescopes and even binoculars. Just take into account that the glowing gasoline from this nebula is fairly unfold out, about half the dimensions of a full moon, making it a problem to look at.

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The Helix Nebula is among the largest and closest planetary nebulas to us. A planetary nebula consists of gasoline and dust expelled from a star on the finish of its life. The Helix Nebula gives a glimpse into our personal sun’s future, after it reaches the purple large phase and begins to launch its gases. The star seen on the middle of the Helix Nebula is the one accountable for the gaseous outflow. If this have been the sun, our planet could be properly inside the nebula. The sun and the star within the Helix Nebula will finally finish their lives as white dwarfs.

The Hubble Space Telescope took a famous photo of the Helix Nebula in 2003. Email chains on the time referred to this nebula because the Eye of God. You might acknowledge this picture as one of many décor objects contained in the condo on the TV present The Big Bang Theory. It hung within the alcove of Sheldon and Leonard’s condo for a few years.

Orion and Flame nebulas

Red cloud and blue star at top left, white and blue clouds with black dust bottom right.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Basudeb Chakrabarti in Kolkata, India, captured this picture of the Flame and Orion nebulas on September 23, 2021. Basudeb wrote: “I live in Kolkata, India, near the international airport, which is a highly light-polluted area. The air pollution is also very high in the area. Due to this, for most days of the year, I can’t even see Polaris from my place. I get a few lucky nights after rain when I can do some DSO. This is one of those lucky nights after a shower on 26th September, 2021, from my terrace.” Thank you, Basudeb!

Look for these nebulas within the constellation Orion in October. Orion is rising within the east late within the night. The Orion Nebula is a part of the sword of Orion. It could be seen as a fuzzy patch with none optical help. The Flame Nebula lies subsequent to the bottom-most belt star of Orion, Alnitak. Can you additionally spot the Horsehead Nebula on this picture?

Heart and Soul nebulas

Blue centers with red glowing outlines and black background.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jeffrey Horne in Nashville, Tennessee, captured this picture of the Heart and Soul nebulas on October 11, 2021. He wrote: “One of my favorite things about astrophotography is “surprises” that present up in pictures. I lined up the Heart and Soul nebulas (aptly named) within the body, and began my exposures. All was going as deliberate, till about 10 hours into taking this picture, when a pale blue smudge began displaying up on the underside/proper of the body. I initially thought it was a blemish/inside reflection that was inflicting undesirable errors within the picture, however after some research I discovered that it was one other nebula…the Bear Claw Nebula. It’s the little issues in life, ? The ones which are a whole bunch of light-years vast!” Thank you, Jeffrey!

These stunning nebulas lie within the constellation Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia is an easy-to-spot constellation within the form of the letter W. The Heart Nebula is typically known as the Running Dog Nebula. What does this star-forming area appear like to you?

Bottom line: EarthSky readers shared superb deep-sky images with us. The Helix Nebula in Aquarius, Orion and Flame nebulas in Orion, and Heart and Soul nebulas in Cassiopeia are nice observing targets for October.

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