The Crescent Nebula

Image credit and copyright: Daniel López

The Crescent Nebula, also known as NGC 6888, is pictured above by the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary Islands. This composite image combines both a color photograph with a layer of oxygen and hydrogen molecular data responsible for the filaments of blue and green seemingly escaping to the outskirts of the nebula. Most astrophotography of distant objects such as the Crescent Nebula-which is approximately 5,000 light-years away and spans nearly 25 light-years across-is accomplished by layering multiple images together. Each layer gathers data by measuring various aspects of the light spectrum that may or may not be visible to the naked eye, such as ultraviolet and infrared light. The Crescent Nebula is located in the constellation Cygnus, one that is abounding with nebulae (a nursery of nurseries, if you will).

Published by Julia Mariani

(Sources: NASA)

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