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Abell 39 (Planetary Nebula)


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Abell 39
Planetary Nebula (惑星状星雲)
Nb PN

別名 (Other names)
PN A66 39, PN ARO 180, PK 047+42 1, PN G047.0+42.4

星座 (Constellation)
ヘルクレス座 (Her) (Hercules)


距離 (Distance)
7,000光年 (7,000 light-years)

Abell 39 is a planetary nebula located 7,000 light years from the Earth in the constellation Hercules.

Abell 39 (Planetary Nebula) : Picture

Planetary Nebula Abell 39
Spherical Planetary Nebula Abell 39
(C) George Jacoby (WIYN Obs.) et al., WIYN, AURA, NOAO, NSF
One of the largest spheres in our Galaxy is giving valuable clues about the chemical composition of stars by its very shape. Planetary nebula Abell 39, now six light-years across, was once a sun-like star's outer atmosphere expelled thousands of years ago. The nearly perfect spherical nature of Abell 39 allows astronomers to accurately estimate how much relative material is actually absorbing and emitting light. Observations indicate that Abell 39 contains only about half of the oxygen found in the Sun, an intriguing but not surprising confirmation of the chemical differences between stars. The reason why the central star is slightly off center by 0.1 light-years is currently unknown. Abell 39 lies about 7,000 light years away, although several galaxies millions of light years away can be seen through and around the nebula.

Spherical Planetary Nebula Abell 39
Spherical Planetary Nebula Abell 39
(C) Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, University of Arizona
Ghostly in appearance, Abell 39 is a remarkably simple, spherical nebula about five light-years across. Well within our own Milky Way galaxy, the cosmic sphere is roughly 7,000 light-years distant toward the constellation Hercules. Abell 39 is a planetary nebula, formed as a once sun-like star's outer atmosphere was expelled over a period of thousands of years. Still visible, the nebula's central star is evolving into a hot white dwarf. Although faint, the nebula's simple geometry has proven to be a boon to astronomers exploring the chemical abundances and life cycles of stars. In this deep image recorded under dark night skies, very distant background galaxies can be found -- some visible right through the nebula itself.

Planetary Nebula Abell 39
Planetary Nebula Abell 39
(C) George Jacoby (WIYN Obs.) et al., WIYN, AURA, NOAO, NSF
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