|NGC 7293 "Helix Nebula": Planetary Nebula (Aquarius) RA: 22h 29.6m / DEC: -20° 50'.2|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
NGC 7293 is a stunning planetary nebula in northern Aquarius. It resides in a star-poor area of sky, which makes the star hop a bit of a challenge. But the Helix Nebula is well worth the effort. My drawing presents a 129X view in my 10-inch Meade Starfinder Newtonian. The eyepiece, a Meade 8.8-mm UWA, is fitted with the Lumicon OIII filter which produces a stunningly bright and detailed image. The nebula covers a 16'x14' area. The common name for this nebula, the Helix, arises from similarity in appearance to a double helix. NGC 7293 is so bright in my 10-inch, that the double helix or overlapping circular structure is difficult to deduce. The northeast portion is brightest, with the southwest portion following a close second. Both the east and west ends appear somewhat broken or open, as if the circular form of the nebula is not complete. The 13.5 magnitude central star is visible, as are another 16 stars which dot the field. Look for this showpiece object 1.2 degrees due west of 5.2 magnitude Upsilon (59) Aquarii.
Layout, design & revisions © W. D. Ferris
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Revised: September 27, 2003 [WDF]