M2-9 Planetary Nebula in Ophiuchus (Butterfly)

M2-9 also known as Minkowski's Butterfly is a fairly bright bipolar planetary nebula located 2100 light years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus shining at mag 14,7.
The bright lobes extend to 12 by 70 arc-sec with very faint bigger loops in H-alpha light.
The primary component of the central binary is the hot core of a star that reached the end of its main-sequence life cycle.
It ejected most of its outer layers and became a red giant, and is now contracting into a white dwarf.
The nebula has inflated dramatically due to a fast stellar wind, blowing out into the surrounding disk and inflating the large, wispy hourglass-shaped wings perpendicular to the disk.
These wings produce the butterfly appearance when seen in projection. The shells are estimated to be about 1,200 years old.

A very detailed image taken with the Hubble Space Telescope you can find here: https://esahubble.org/news/heic1518/

Image data:
HaO3S2RGB (280-280-280-140-140-120 min) total 21 h, north is up, seeing 0.8-1.2 arc-sec, H-alpha is red, S-II is green, O-III is blue.
Sulphur and Oxygen are strongly enhanced to show the delicate colors of this nebula. A truecolor image is mainly red due to dominant H-alpha emission.
80cm f/7 Astrooptik Keller cassegrain, FLI PL-16803, Astrodon gen2 filters, Prompt 7 CTIO Chile

Processing: Johannes Schedler

Find here a a center cropped narrowband-RGB image in 120/200% size below and a truecolor image at bottom.

 clic for 200% size


Last modified on Monday, 19 April 2021 11:51

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