NGC 6826 – The Blinking Eye Nebula

NGC 6826 – The Blinking Eye Nebula

NGC 6826 The Blinking Eye Nebula

Bruce Balick (University of Washington), Jason Alexander (University of Washington), Arsen Hajian (U.S. Naval Observatory), Yervant Terzian (Cornell University), Mario Perinotto (University of Florence, Italy), Patrizio Patriarchi (Arcetri Observatory, Italy) and NASA/ESA

NGC 6826 the Blinking Eye Nebula, is a A Supernova is the violent explosion that happens when a star dies. A star creates outward energy by burning its fuel through nuclear fusion, but its large mass creates powerful inward gravity. When a star runs out of fuel, it can no longer fight its own gravity and collapses in on itself. This collapse results in a tremendous explosion, known as a Supernova.

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NGC 6826 is located approximately 2,000 light years from Earth, in the Constellation Cygnus, the swan. The nebula is only around 0.2 light years in diameter. I say “only,” but this diameter still equates to more than 1.1 trillion miles, which is small in cosmic terms! Ultimately, the beautiful colors and shapes will likely continue floating out for 10 thousand years. Believe it or not, this is also short, compared the billions of years or more that a star can live.

NGC 6826’s appearance

First, as you can see in the photo above, NGC 6826 is a large green cloud surrounding the remaining leftover star. On each end, are two bright red fliers. Actually, you notice two green spheres. The extremely hot leftover star in the center pushes out a scorching wind. This hot wind blows the former star’s matter away and leaves the noticeable empty bubble around itself. As this green gas is pushed outward it bumps into the gas that is farther out and reacts, hence the two green clouds.

Next are the beautiful red flares on both sides. These are called

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