Celestial hemisphere:  Southern  ·  Constellation: Monoceros (Mon)
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Red Rectangle Nebula, 



    
        

            Gary Imm
Red Rectangle Nebula
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Red Rectangle Nebula

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
Red Rectangle Nebula, 



    
        

            Gary Imm
Red Rectangle Nebula
Powered byPixInsight

Red Rectangle Nebula

Acquisition details

Dates:
Sept. 29, 2019
Frames:
Astrodon Gen2 I-Series Tru-Balance Blue: 100×10(16′ 40″) (gain: 111.00) -12°C bin 1×1
Astrodon Gen2 I-Series Tru-Balance Green: 100×10(16′ 40″) (gain: 111.00) -12°C bin 1×1
Astrodon Gen2 I-Series Tru-Balance Red: 100×10(16′ 40″) (gain: 111.00) -12°C bin 1×1
Integration:
50′
Avg. Moon age:
0.85 days
Avg. Moon phase:
0.82%

RA center: 06h19m58s.3

DEC center: -10°3813

Pixel scale: 0.253 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 78.306 degrees

Field radius: 0.092 degrees

Resolution: 2225x1400

File size: 600.8 KB

Locations: Backyard (Mag 20.8 - Bortle 4.5), Onalaska, Texas, United States

Data source: Backyard

Description

This object is a tiny, rarely imaged nebula located 2300 light years away in the constellation of Monoceros at a declination of -11 degrees. The nebula spans only 10 arc-seconds in our apparent view, which corresponds to a true width of 0.1 light years.

This is a small but fascinating object and a tough one to image and process. I don't recall seeing such a bizarre shape before in a DSO. The shape and color are the source of much speculation. The "X" shape is not an artifact from my scope - it appears the same way in the Hubble image. About all that scientists seem to be sure of with this nebula is that a binary star (HD 44179) is at its center. It seems likely that the "X" shape is related to the bipolar outflows of gas and dust in opposing directions from the central star, but exactly why this shape is so linear and symmetric is not known.

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