New images of the nebula "Snail" in the infrared Facts
On the new images in the infrared nebula "Snail» (Helix Nebula) looks like a huge golden eye in the sky. Pictures were taken with the European Southern Observatory telescope VISTA.
In the nebula contains a chain of cold nebular gas that are only visible in a picture taken in the visible spectrum. In such conditions, also found numerous stars and galaxies surrounding nebula.
Planetary nebulae have nothing to do with planets. This name came from the fact that many of them have a small bright disks that resemble the outer planets like Neptune and Uranus. Nebula is a complex object composed of dust, ionized particles and molecular gas complex built in the shape of a flower and radiant intensity in the range from the ultraviolet radiation.
Nebula "Snail" is the closest and most identify examples of a planetary nebula. It is located in the constellation of Pisces, 700 light years from Earth. This strange object formed when a star like the Sun was in the final phase of his life. Unable to hold off its outer layers, the star began to gradually discard shell of gas that became the nebula. Main Ring "snail" has a diameter of 2 light years, which is approximately half the distance from the Sun to the nearest star. But other elements extend at least 4 light years.
The figure shows the location of the nebula "Snail" in the constellation Pisces. It reflects well on the stars visible to the naked eye under good conditions. Nebula though large in size, but it is very faded, so it can only be seen through a telescope or binoculars in a dark clear sky.
The image shows the comparative pictures of the nebula "Snail", performed by different devices in different conditions: the left image, taken VISTA telescope in the range of infrared radiation, the right photo taken 2.2-meter telescope MPG / ESO in the visible spectrum.