"The sky is the ultimate art gallery just above us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 82)
Astrophotography by Jason Jennings

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Nebulae :: RCW11



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         Object RCW11 - Gourd Nebula
         Comment RCW11 (aka Sharpless 308) is a large, faint bubble shaped nebula surrounding the Wolf-Rayet star WR6 (EZ CMa) in the constellation Canis Major. The Wolf-Rayet star is the bright blue star near the center of the image and has been the subject of considerable research. At an estimated distance of 5,200 light-years, it is one of the closest Wolf-Rayet stars to our solar system. RCW11 is nearly 3/4 degree in size, and is the result of fast Wolf-Rayet winds sweeping nebulous filaments outward. The nebula has an estimated age of 70,000 years and is expanding at velocity of 60 km/s. The teal/blue colour of the nebula is mapped as ionised oxygen which dominates the nebula's emission. An internal red hydrogen emission shell reveals a bubble within a bubble appearance. The nebula is sometimes referred to as the Gourd Nebula due to its shape that resembles a Calabash fruit.

Image is a [Ha+L]RGB composite with HA and OIII clipping masks
         Optics Modified ASA N16 Astrograph F/3.5 (1420mm FL)
         Camera Apogee Aspen CG16070 - 1x1 bin (image scale: 1.07 arcsec/pix)
         Mount Software Bisque Paramount ME
         Exposure Total exposure time: 11 hours
         Date March 2016


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