IYA Live Telescope Library: Jupiter & Neptune – The “Helix” Nebula

Article written: 21 Jul , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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Hey, hey! We’re baaaaack… The IYA Live Telescope was on-line for the whole night “down under” and we had a chance to watch both Jupiter and Neptune accompanied by a nearby star for several hours – then a later view of the Helix nebula until dawn. If you didn’t get a chance to see it live, don’t worry. As always, we did a video capture to share…

When it comes to viewing Jupiter, sometimes there can always be a bit of a trade-off. In order to see dimmer Neptune, Jupiter must be over-exposed, thereby losing planetary details. Although the planetary pair has separated greatly over the last few days, it’s still nice to be able to catch them nearby each other in the same field of view!

Factual Information Courtesy of Wikipedia:

The Helix Nebula, also known as The Helix or NGC 7293, is a large planetary nebula (PN) located in the constellation of Aquarius. Discovered by Karl Ludwig Harding, probably before 1824, this object is one of the closest to the Earth of all the bright planetary nebulae. The estimated distance is about 215 parsecs or 700 light-years. It is similar in appearance to the Ring Nebula, whose size, age, and physical characteristics are similar to the Dumbbell Nebula, varying only in its relative proximity and the appearance from the equatorial viewing angle.

In this video, the Helix appear quite dim since it really requires a larger aperture telescope. However, you will find it slightly left of center where it makes a brief appearance haloed by faint stars when the image composites and resolves.

Once again, many, many thanks to our generous benefactor from the Mighty ETX group for donating the part needed to bring our IYA telescope back to life again! Please be sure to check the link to your left for future IYA “Live” telescope broadcasts!


1 Response

  1. Jon Hanford says

    Great to see the IYA Live Telescope back in action. The ghostly gray view of the Helix is amazing, similar to a view through some 50mm binoculars. The Jupiter-Neptune conjunction is beautiful and rather rare to boot. Thanks to all involved in making these videos possible.

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