NGC6826 Blinking Planetary Nebula
Blinking Planetary Nebula
Planetary Nebula in Cygnus



NGC6543: NGC6826, also known as the Blinking Planetary Nebula, is a tiny planetary nebula, the type of nebula which it is generally thought our Sun will produce as nuclear fusion slows and then dies in its core, and it expels its outer layers of gas. It is thought to be perhaps 2,200 light years from us. The "blinking" in its name refers to the apparent trait of faint objects in a telescope eyepiece, when viewed directly, to blink; the nebula does not actually blink.


Technical Information:

LRGB: 72:48:48:84 (Luminance consisted of eight minute images; R&G consisted of eight minute images, B consisted of 14 minute images, all unbinned).

Equipment: Meade 10" LX200 at f/12, an SBIG ST-8XE camera/CFW-8 color filter wheel, guided by an SBIG AO-7 adaptive optics device, guiding at about 7 Hz (luminance) and 1-3 Hz (RGB).

Image Acquisition/Camera Control: CCDSoft V5.

Processing: All images calibrated (darks, dawn flats and flat-darks) and registered in AIP4WIN. All layers average combined in Ray Gralak's sigma reject program. One fast and ten slow iterations of Lucy-Richardson deconvolution routine applied using AIP4WIN. Color combine, very gentle unsharp mask on the luminance layer, and adjustment of curves and levels, performed in Photoshop 6.0. The extreme range of brightness in the nebula, ranging from a saturated star at the center to the extremely dim outer gas of the nebula, made processing tricky.

Location: All images taken in my yard in Redmond, WA, USA, elevation 500'.

Date: Luminance images taken on the night of June 24, 2003; RGB taken on the night of June 25, 2003.

CCD Temperature: -25C (Lum); -22C (RGB)

Moon Phase: Waning crescent

Seeing: 2.3 Arcsecond typical FWHM in single calibrated image.

Copyright 2003 Mark de Regt