Helix Neb­ula (NGC 7293)

Helix Neb­ula (NGC 7293, Cald­well 63) is the largest and closest plan­et­ary neb­ula known in the heav­ens. It lies about 11° north­east of 1st mag Alpha Pis­cis Aus­trini (Form­al­haut) in the con­stel­la­tion of Aquar­i­us. It meas­ures about 12′ x 10′ in dia­met­er and is about 520 lightyears from Earth and has a pretty low sur­face bright­ness. It’s age is estim­ated to be around 10’500 years.

To cre­ate the image, Ha data have been mixed into the red chan­nel to bring out some more details of the struc­ture with­in the plan­et­ary neb­ula. North is up in the image.

[descrip­tion from O’Meara]


Taka­hashi FSQ-106EDX III
10Micron GM2000 HPSII
Astro­don Gen2
HaLRGB 1040:870:500:465:355 min.
San Pedro de Atacama — Chile
© Mar­tin Ruster­holz, Astrophotographer

Find­er Chart Helix Neb­ula (NGC 7293)

Helix Nebula Sky Chart - Astrophotography Martin Rusterholz

Image cre­ated by Skychart

About Me

Hello, my name is Martin Rusterholz. I’m a Swiss amateur astrophotographer living near Zurich, the biggest town in Switzerland. My interest in astronomy started when I was 16. At that time, I built my first Newtonian telescope and mount. I studied physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) which was the only study including at least some aspects of astronomy and astrophysics. “Looking at the nights sky is an experience touching everybody deeply inside, something common to all human beings independent to the language spoken by the individuals”. Deep-sky astrophotography is my passion.