Daily Telescope: The Wolf-Rayet star puts on a howling light show

Zoom in / Crescent Nebula.


Welcome to Daily Telescope. There is too little darkness in this world and not enough light, too little pseudoscience and not enough science. We'll let the other posts provide your daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we'll take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe full of stars and wonders.

Good morning. It's February 2, and today's image is of an emission nebula about 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus.

Discovered more than 230 years ago by William Herschel, astronomers believe the Crescent Nebula consists of a combination of energetic stellar winds from a Wolf-Rayet star in its core, colliding with slower-moving material ejected earlier in the star's life. Eventually, this should all go supernova, which would be absolutely amazing.

Will you or I be alive to see it? Probably not.

But in the meantime, we can enjoy the nebula as it is. This image was taken by Ars reader 1Zach1 using an Astro-Tech AT80ED refractor telescope. It was the product of 11 hours of integration, or 228 exposures lasting three minutes each. Taken in rural Southwest Washington.

I wish you a happy holiday.

source: 1Zach1

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