180109期:哈勃望远镜拍摄下的明亮行星状星云 NGC 7027

哈伯望远镜拍摄下的明亮行星状星云NGC 7027

它是地球天空中最明亮的行星状星云之一,然而,我们该用如何来称呼它呢?人类早在1878年,通过一部标准的后院望远镜发现了天鹅座内的星云NGC 7027,那时可能因为它只是一个不起眼的小亮斑,所以很少人会用绰号来称呼它。然而,使用轨道上的哈伯太空望远镜为它造像时,能够观察到星云有许多细微结构。仔细观察哈伯望远镜拍摄的NGC 7027影像,可以发现它是个约在6百年前开始扩张的行星状星云,而且这团气体和尘埃云含有异常大的质量,足足是太阳质量的三倍之多。上面这幅假色影像,清楚解析出了混杂着尘埃的NGC 7027层状结构,这或许对星空爱好者为它定出昵称有帮助。先前最多人建议的名称是枕头星云,但仍然欢迎为它推荐其他名称,可参见APOD的线上讨论板

译:银河说翻译组  潘Hellen

Bright Planetary Nebula NGC 7027 from Hubble 
Image Credit: Hubble, NASA, ESA; Processing & License: Judy Schmidt

Explanation: It is one of the brightest planetary nebulae on the sky — what should it be named? First discovered in 1878, nebula NGC 7027 can be seen toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus) with a standard backyard telescope. Partly because it appears there as only an indistinct spot, it is rarely referred to with a moniker. When imaged with the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope, however, great details are revealed. Studying Hubble images of NGC 7027 have led to the understanding that it is a planetary nebula that began expanding about 600 years ago, and that the cloud of gas and dust is unusually massive as it appears to contain about three times the mass of our Sun.Pictured here in assigned colors, the resolved, layered, and dust-laced features of NGC 7027 might remind sky enthusiasts of a familiar icon that could be the basis for an informal name. A leading previous suggestion was the Pillow Nebula, but please feel free to make new suggestions — for example, in an online APOD discussion forum.

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