NGC 7293 (PK 36-5.1) Planetary Nebula in Aquarius

Located at: RA 22 hours 29 minutes 38 seconds, Dec -20 degrees 50 minutes 12 seconds

Size: 16' Magnitude: 7.5 photographic Class: 4+3

North is up

West to the right


 14.5" f5 Newtonian reflector


  ST-8XME, self-guided, binned 1x1, temp -15c, camera control MaxIm DL 4.56


Lumicon Red filter, 830 minutes (83 x 10 minute subs), 11/8/10/11/13/14/2015; seeing 2.7-5.0 per CCDStack


CCDStack 2.90.5589.16047, Photoshop CS5.1


 Rolling Roof Observatory, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 (+34d 13m 29s -118h 52m 20s)


The 'Helix', or 'Helical Nebula', is one of the largest and closest planetary nebula in our sky. Took a week of imaging to get this one completed. Wonderfully clear weather, but lots of winds (off-shore), made the seeing poor (especially for an object this low). I ended up using 83 out of 112 subs, tossing subs over 5 arc sec seeing.

See the 8" ccd image. See here for a 14.5" f5 Newtonian hypered Kodak Tech Pan 2415 film image.

From the NGC / IC Project:

Contemporary Visual Observation(s) for NGC 7293

NGC 7293 = PK 36-57.1 = Helical or Helix Nebula = PN G036.1-57.1
22 29 38.5 -20 50 13
V = 7.6;  Size 880"x720"

17.5" (10/2/99): gorgeous view at 100x and OIII filter.  This huge, annular PN 
is 15'x12' in size and slightly elongated E-W due to an extension on the W side.  
The thick annulus is mottled and irregular with brighter regions along the N, NE 
and SW edge.  The W side is slightly weaker but very faint extensions from the N 
and S side towards the W, cause the rim to bulge on this side.  The west edge of 
the halo more gradually blends into the background near a mag 11.5 star off the 
W side.  At 220x without a filter about a dozen stars are superimposed.  The mag 
13.5 star is easy along with a similar star a couple of arcmin following.

13" (8/1/82): the "Helix" nebula is extremely large, about 15' diameter, clearly 
annular.  Significant contrast gain with OIII filter permits observation even 
from the Bay Area. The fairly bright rim is nonuniform appearing brighter along 
the N side.  About seven stars are superimposed including the mag 13.5 central 
star.  Appears best at low power due to size and relative low surface 
brightness. Description from 8/15/82 and 8/5/83.

8": huge annular planetary is fairly bright at low power using a Daystar 300 
filter.  The rim has an irregular surface brightness.

- by Steve Gottlieb