Robin’s Egg

This pretty cosmic cloud lies some 1,500 light-years away, it shape and color reminiscent of a blue robin’s egg (a North American bird). It spans about 3 light-years, nested securely within the boundaries of the southern constellation Fornax. Recognized as a planetary nebula, NGC 1360 doesn’t represent a beginning though. Instead it corresponds to a brief and final phase in the evolution of an aging star.

The predominant blue-green hue of NGC 1360 seen here is the strong emission produced as electrons recombine with doubly ionized oxygen atoms.

I took this image over 9 hours. (Luminance 28 of 10 min each and 9 images of each color of 10 min each).

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