Astrophoto: A Well-Rounded Glow

The bubble nebula Abell 39. Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

In theory, planetary nebulae should be simple and spherical, like the soap bubbles you made as a child. But only a rare few actually are! Here’s an example of one of the almost perfectly round planetary nebulae.

“Abell 39 is the quintessential bubble nebula with spherical form,” writes Adam Block, who is an avid astrophotographer, as well as the Public Observing Programs Coordinator at the Mount Lemmon Sky Center in Tucson, Arizona. “As this is a ‘true color”‘(broadband) image, it is difficult to show the limb brightening and the variations in the transparent shell like narrowband images do. I am glad to finally have this one in the collection of recent work.”

See more information about this image at the Mount Lemmon Sky Center’s website

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