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The Blinking Eye Nebula
Blinking Eye nebula, NGC 6826, Caldwell 15
Description: Planetary nebula
Position: R.A. 19h 44m 48.2s Dec. +50° 31' 30.3"
Distance: Estimated 2000 to 5200 light years
Apparent magnitude: 8.8
Apparent dimensions: 27"× 24"
Diameter: 0.44 x 0.40 light years
Image Credit: NASA, Bruce Balick (U of Washington), Jason Alexander (U of Washington), Arsen Hajian (U.S. Naval Observatory), Yervant Terzian (Cornell University), Mario Perinotto (U of Florence, Italy), Patrizio Patriarchi (Arcetri Observatory, Italy)
Release Date: December 17, 1997
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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:
NGC 6826's eye-like appearance is marred by two sets of blood-red "fliers" that lie horizontally across the image. The surrounding faint green "white" of the eye is believed to be gas that made up almost half of the star's mass for most of its life. The hot remnant star (in the center of the green oval) drives a fast wind into older material, forming a hot interior bubble which pushes the older gas ahead of it to form a bright rim. (The star is one of the brightest stars in any planetary.) NGC 6826 is 2,200 light- years away in the constellation Cygnus. The Hubble telescope observation was taken Jan. 27, 1996 with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.
6826 (also known as Caldwell 15) is a planetary nebula located in the
constellation Cygnus. It is commonly referred to as the "blinking
planetary", although many other nebulae exhibit such "blinking".
When viewed through a small telescope, the brightness of the central star
overwhelms the eye when viewed directly, obscuring the surrounding nebula.
However, it can be viewed well in the peripheral vision (averted vision),
which causes it to "blink" in and out of view as the observer's