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Helix Nebula

The Helix Nebula or NGC 7293 is one of the nearest planetary nebulae. When it still was an ordinary star, it probably was orbited by planets, asteroids and comets. These were scorched into a dust disk which now trickles down on the 110 000 Kelvin hot white dwarf. Thereby X-rays are generated.

Constellation: Aquarius
Distance: 680 light-years

Helix Nebula

Age: 10 600 years
Visual magnitude: 7,3
Diameter: 2.5 light-years

The white dwarf

Visual magnitude: 13

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    Helix Nebula
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Su (University of Arizona)

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