A Giant’s Funeral Pyre

This image shows the planetary nebula Sh2-42 in the constellation Sagittarius, and was captured by using the SMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. Despite the name, planetary nebulae have nothing to do with planets — they are spectacular funeral pyres formed by red giant stars at the end of their lives. As these giant stars expand and throw their outer gaseous layers into space, the hot exposed core of the star ionizes the surrounding material, causing it to glow in a range of vivid colours. As it reaches the end of its life, our own Sun is expected to form a planetary nebula — but not for another 5 billion years!

Credit:

CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA
Acknowledgment: Image processing: T. A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab), M. Zamani & D. de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab)

About the Image

Id:iotw2121a
Type:Observation
Release date:May 26, 2021, noon
Size:1834 x 1978 px

About the Object

Name:Sh2-42
Constellation:Sagittarius
Category:Nebulae

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.9 MB
Screensize JPEG
584.2 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
588.4 KB
1280x1024
996.0 KB
1600x1200
1.5 MB
1920x1200
1.5 MB
2048x1536
2.0 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):18 10 36.91
Position (Dec):-16° 45' 25.99"
Field of view:12.32 x 13.20 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.4° right of vertical


Colors & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
G
475 nmSMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope
Tek2K
Optical
OIII
502 nmSMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope
Tek2K
Optical
R
656 nmSMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope
Tek2K
Optical
I
802 nmSMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope
Tek2K
Optical
H-alpha
656 nmSMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope
Tek2K