The Red Rectangle Nebula, so called because of its red color and unique rectangular shape, is a protoplanetary nebula in the Monoceros constellation.
Also known as HD 44179, the nebula was discovered in 1973. Diffraction-limited speckle images of it in visible and near infrared light reveal a highly symmetric, compact bipolar nebula with X-shaped spikes which imply toroidal dispersion of the circumstellar material.
The central binary system is completely obscured. The distance to this object is 2300 light years.
Find a detailed image from the Hubble Space Telescope here.
RGB each 6x10m, Seeing 1-1.3 arcsec
80cm f/7 Astrooptik Keller corrected cassegrain, FLI Proline 16803, Baader Filters, Prompt 7 CTIO Chile,
Processing: Bernd Flach-Wilken and Johannes Schedler
Find a crop in 75/150% size below: