Fetus Nebula (NGC 7008)

Compact and round, NGC 7008 is recognized as a planetary nebula about 2,800 light-years distant in the nebula rich constellation of Cygnus. If you look hard enough at the purple features of this nebula, you may just see the shape of a Fetus, but planetary nebulae are not associated with star birth. Instead, nebulae like NGC 7008 are produced during a brief phase that sun-like stars pass through toward the end of their lives. Ejecting their outer layers, the stars cool to eventually become white dwarf stars, like the star seen near the center of NGC 7008. This image is cropped at about 50% as this nebula is rather small. Exposure time about 6 hours (11 luminances of 20 minutes and 5 images each of RGB @10 minutes).fetus-web

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