Hemisphere:  Northern

Image of the day 09/28/2020

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    Sh2-68 • Flaming Skull Planetary Nebula, 


            Douglas J Struble
    Sh2-68 • Flaming Skull Planetary Nebula
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    Sh2-68 • Flaming Skull Planetary Nebula

    Technical card

    Imaging telescopes or lenses: Stellarvue SVX102T-R

    Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool

    Mounts: Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G

    Guiding telescopes or lenses: Stellarvue 50mm Guidescope

    Guiding cameras: ASI224MC

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

    Filters: Astronomik Deep-Sky G  ·  Astronomik Deep-Sky R  ·  Astronomik Deep-Sky B  ·  Astrodon Ha 5nm  ·  Astrodon OIII 3nm

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

    Dates:Aug. 16, 2020Aug. 27, 2020Sept. 5, 2020

    Astrodon Ha 5nm: 700x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1
    Astrodon OIII 3nm: 347x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C
    Astronomik Deep-Sky B: 30x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1
    Astronomik Deep-Sky G: 30x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C
    Astronomik Deep-Sky R: 28x60" (gain: 0.00) -20C bin 1x1

    Integration: 36.4 hours

    Darks: ~50

    Flats: ~50

    Bias: ~250

    Avg. Moon age: 17.89 days

    Avg. Moon phase: 55.89%

    Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 8.00

    Basic astrometry details

    Astrometry.net job: 3866025

    RA center: 18h 25' 6"

    DEC center: +0° 57' 0"

    Pixel scale: 1.105 arcsec/pixel

    Orientation: 282.530 degrees

    Field radius: 0.289 degrees

    Resolution: 1471x1177

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

    Data source: Backyard


    The Sh2-68's very irregular shape is due to its interaction with the surrounding interstellar medium. The white dwarf is moving rapidly through space and happens to be in a location in our Milky Way galaxy where there is more gas and dust between stars than usual. So as it moves, the gas it blows off is itself blown back, making it look like a giant screaming head with flaming hair, streaking across the Galaxy. The interaction with the interstellar medium also impedes and finally stops the expansion of the nebula.The star itself is the blue one right in the center of the OIII.

    Sh2-68 is a very ancient planetary nebula estimated to be 45,000 years old. The distance is still yet to be determined. Over the next several thousand years, the Flaming Skull Nebula will gradually disperse into space, and then the white dwarf will cool and fade away for billions of years. Our own Sun is expected to undergo a similar fate, but fortunately this will not occur until some 5 billion years from now.



    Douglas J Struble
    License: None (All rights reserved)

    Sky plot

    Sky plot


    Sh2-68 • Flaming Skull Planetary Nebula, 


            Douglas J Struble

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