Cosmic Butterfly

The Bug Nebula, NGC 6302, is one of the brightest and most extreme planetary nebulae known. It is located about 4,000 light-years away, towards the Scorpius constellation (the Scorpion). The nebula is the swansong of a dying solar-like star lying at its centre. At about 250,000 degrees Celsius and smothered in a blanket of hailstones, the star itself has never been observed as it is surrounded by a dense disc of gas and dust, opaque to light. This dense disc may be the origin of the hourglass structure of the nebula.

This colour image, which nicely highlights the complex structure of the nebula, is a composite of three exposures through blue, green and red filters. It was made using the 1.5-metre Danish telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory, Chile.

Credit:

ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/R. Gendler, A. Hornstrup and J.-E. Ovaldsen

About the Image

Id:eso-6302
Type:Observation
Release date:3 December 2009, 23:19
Size:1200 x 1117 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 6302
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Planetary
• X - Nebulae
Distance:4000 light years
Constellation:Scorpius

Image Formats

Large JPEG
281.9 KB
Screensize JPEG
169.4 KB

Wallpapers

1024x768
195.2 KB
1280x1024
278.2 KB
1600x1200
358.8 KB
1920x1200
393.5 KB
2048x1536
503.1 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):17 13 44.27
Position (Dec):-37° 6' 16.25"
Field of view:6.22 x 5.79 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 45.1° left of vertical
View in WorldWide Telescope:
View in WorldWide Telescope

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
451 nm Danish 1.54-metre telescope
DFOSC
Optical
V
539 nm Danish 1.54-metre telescope
DFOSC
Optical
R
651 nm Danish 1.54-metre telescope
DFOSC

Also see our