June 2017 - Picture of the Month
Planetary Nebula Shapley 1 in Norma
I've had a run of galaxies recently and I've decided it's time for a change. On top of that the nights are getting very short and bright here in the UK. To that end, I've chosen to head south for the summer and found a wonderful planetary nebula.
Shapley 1 is a fine ring nebula, but quite a lot smaller and fainter the Ring Nebula (M57) that's around in the northern sky again. That magnitude 14 white dwarf at the centre seems to be a close binary pair, and our view is perpendicular to their orbit. This means that we're probably seeing this planetary nebula from a polar perspective.
This image shows lots of subtle (and not so subtle) detail in the bright ring, and the faint outer halo too.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.