A nitrogen-rich nebula

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows a planetary nebula named NGC 6153, located about 4000 light-years away in the southern constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). The faint blue haze across the frame shows what remains of a star like the Sun after it has depleted most of its fuel. When this happens, the outer layers of the star are ejected, and get excited and ionised by the energetic ultraviolet light emitted by the bright hot core of the star, forming the nebula.

NGC 6153 is a planetary nebula that is elliptical in shape, with an extremely rich network of loops and filaments, shown clearly in this Hubble image. However, this is not what makes this planetary nebula so interesting for astronomers.

Measurements show that NGC 6153 contains large amounts of neon, argon, oxygen, carbon and chlorine — up to three times more than can be found in the Solar System. The nebula contains a whopping five times more nitrogen than the Sun! Although it may be that the star developed higher levels of these elements as it grew and evolved, it is more likely that the star originally formed from a cloud of material that already contained lots more of these elements.

A version of this image was entered into the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Matej Novak.

Links

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Matej Novak

About the Image

Id:potw1525a
Type:Observation
Release date:22 June 2015, 10:00
Size:655 x 677 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 6153
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary
Distance:4000 light years
Constellation:Scorpius
Category:Nebulae

Image Formats

Large JPEG
216.9 KB
Screensize JPEG
327.1 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
328.0 KB
1280x1024
472.3 KB
1600x1200
595.5 KB
1920x1200
628.8 KB
2048x1536
826.9 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):16 31 30.49
Position (Dec):-40° 15' 10.52"
Field of view:0.55 x 0.56 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 46.7° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
Oii
502 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
H-alpha
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

Also see our


Accelerated by CDN77