NGC 6826 (The Blinking Planetary)


    NGC 6826, Magnitude 9.0 Planetary Nebula, Size 2.3'x2.3', Constellation: Cygnus.


Image Details:

Comments: NGC 6826 is famous for the "blinking effect" it displays. Look directly at its bright central star and you see very little nebulosity. Look away, use averted vision, and the round nebula pops into view. Do this rapidly and the nebula blinks on and off. The blinking is best seen in a small scope, as instruments in the 12-inch and larger class begin to show the nebula even when you're looking directly at the star, lessening the blinking effect.

This object is thought to be about 2200 light years away, though, as is usually the case with planetaries, this is not set in stone.

The blinking of the nebula is fun, but it really takes a CCD image to bring out the nice green color and the subtle detail near the central star (the "fliers"). 

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