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Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Contains:  Copeland's Blue Snowball  ·  NGC 7662
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NGC 7662 • Blue Snowball Planetary Nebula, 


            Douglas J Struble
NGC 7662 • Blue Snowball Planetary Nebula
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NGC 7662 • Blue Snowball Planetary Nebula

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Explore Scientific ED165CF FPL-53

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM-PRO

Mounts: Astro-Physics Mach 1 GTO

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion 80mm Short Tube

Guiding cameras: Starlight Xpress Lodestar x2

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5.5  ·  StarNet++  ·  PHD2  ·  Sequence Generator Pro  ·  PixInsight  ·  SkySafari Pro

Filters: Astronomik Deep-Sky G  ·  Astronomik Deep-Sky R  ·  Astronomik Deep-Sky B  ·  Astronomik Ha 6nm 1.25''  ·  Astrodon OIII 3nm

Accessory: QHYCCD PoleMaster  ·  Hotech 2" SCA Self-Centering Field Flattener  ·  ZWO 8x 1.25" Filter Wheel (EFW)  ·  MoonLite CFL 2.5" Large Format Focuser

Dates:Oct. 9, 2020Nov. 2, 2020Nov. 3, 2020Nov. 5, 2020Nov. 6, 2020

Astrodon OIII 3nm: 190x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon OIII 3nm: 489x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Deep-Sky B: 60x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Deep-Sky G: 60x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Deep-Sky R: 88x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Ha 6nm 1.25'': 408x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 36.5 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~250

Avg. Moon age: 18.95 days

Avg. Moon phase: 79.02%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 8.00

Basic astrometry details job: 3999996

RA center: 23h 25' 53"

DEC center: +42° 32' 13"

Pixel scale: 0.680 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 280.822 degrees

Field radius: 0.155 degrees

Resolution: 1272x1040

Locations: Backyard White Zone Observatory, Taylor, MI, Michigan, United States

Data source: Backyard


This was a very challenging planetary nebula. The core is rather small and bright. I had to capture OIII data with two different exposures much like the Cat's Eye Nebula, although a bit smaller. The OIII, Ha and RGB data was assembled in Photoshop in different layers with different masks.

Caldwell 22, also cataloged as NGC 7662 and nicknamed the Snowball Nebula or Blue Snowball Nebula, is a planetary nebula located about 2,500 light-years from Earth. Nebulae like these represent a stage in evolution that stars like our Sun undergo when they run out of fuel. Stars are nuclear furnaces that spend most of their lives fusing hydrogen into helium. Massive stars have fiery fates, exploding as supernovae, but medium-mass stars like the Sun swell to become red giants as they exhaust their fuel.

The process begins when, after billions of years of nuclear fusion, the star starts to shut down. Gravity (no longer balanced by the outward pressure created by nuclear fusion) compresses the stellar core. The star’s outer layers of gas puff away into space, creating a planetary nebula (so named because these objects often resemble planetary orbs when viewed through a small telescope). At the center lie the remains of the original star’s compressed core, a small white dwarf. One day our Sun will meet a similar fate, but it has enough fuel to last another 6 billion years or so.



Douglas J Struble
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


NGC 7662 • Blue Snowball Planetary Nebula, 


            Douglas J Struble