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Deep in the Heart of Mordor - NGC 7293

© Andrew Campbell

Deep in the Heart of Mordor - NGC 7293

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Product details

Overall size of this product is 40 × 30 cm.
The image area of the print measures 29 × 22 cm.
Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year is the largest international competition of its kind. Organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich and sponsored by Insight Investment, the competition receives entries from photographers all around the world. It annually showcases the best space photography from a global community of astrophotographers.

This image is the result of almost 64 hours of narrowband data of the Helix Nebula, gathered over two months from suburban Melbourne. I extracted every bit of data to get the outer chevrons and filigree details to separate from the light pollution at my location. I was keen to show the OIII (doubly ionized oxygen) eye structures in the iris, so Photoshop masking was used to balance the overwhelming H-alpha signal and let the OIII present well. The Helix Nebula is so-named because it appears that you are looking down the axis of a helix. In reality, it is now understood to have a surprisingly complex geometry, including radial filaments and extended outer loops. The Helix Nebula is one of the brightest and closest examples of a planetary nebula, a gas cloud created at the end of the life of a sun-like star. The remnant central stellar core, destined to become a white dwarf star, glows in light so energetic it causes the previously expelled gas to fluoresce.

Andrew Campbell
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