Astronomical

Spiral Galaxy M33

More than a billion stars form the whirling spiral galaxy Messsier 33 (M33) in the constellation Triangulum. Its spiral arms glow blue with the light of hot, new stars. Older, yellow stars populate the nucleus. At a distance of only 3.5 billion light-years, M33 is one of the nearest spiral galaxies. This image was made with the 0.8-meter Telescope at McDonald Observatory, with the Prime Focus Corrector instrument. Credit: Tom Montemayor/McDonald Observatory.

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Astronomical

Helix Nebula

The Helix Nebula, also known as NGC 7293, is a wreath placed by nature around a dying star. Nearing the end of its life and running out of nuclear fuel, the star in the center of the nebula has blown off its outer atmosphere. The blue-green interior color of the nebula is caused by oxygen emission; farther out the red color is caused by hydrogen emission. Our Sun will likely meet the same fate in about five billion years. This image was made with the 0.8-meter Telescope at McDonald Observatory, with the Prime Focus Corrector instrument. Credit: Tom Montemayor/McDonald Observatory.

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Astronomical

Horsehead Nebula

Lying just below the belt of Orion, the Horsehead Nebula is actually two nebulae, one lying in front of the other. The foreground nebula, which includes the horsehead figure, appears dark because there are no nearby stars to illuminate it. The background nebula emits the characteristic red light of hydrogen, caused to glow by the energy of nearby stars. The Horsehead is also known as IC 434. This image was made with the 0.8-meter Telescope at McDonald Observatory, with the Prime Focus Corrector instrument. Credit: Tom Montemayor/McDonald Observatory

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Astronomical

Dumbbell Nebula

The Dumbbell Nebula lies in the constellation Vulpecula. It is also known as Messier 27 (M27) or NGC 6853. This image was made by the 0.8-meter Telescope at McDonald Observatory with the Prime Focus Corrector instrument. To obtain a color image, three exposures were added together, one made with a red filter, one with a green filter, and one with a blue filter. Credit: Mary Kay Hemenway/AASTRA teacher program/McDonald Observatory.

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Astronomical

Trifid Nebula

The Trifid Nebula lies about 8,000 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius. It also goes by the names Messier 20 (M20) and NGC 6514. This image was made by the 0.8-meter Telescope at McDonald Observatory, with the Prime Focus Corrector instrument. To obtain a color image, three exposures were added together, one made with a red filter, one with a green filter, and one with a blue filter. Credit: Mary Kay Hemenway/AASTRA teacher program/McDonald Observatory.

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Astronomical

Eagle Nebula

The Eagle Nebula, also known as Messier 16, lies in the constellation Serpens. This image was made by the 0.8-meter Telescope at McDonald Observatory, with the Prime Focus Corrector instrument. To obtain a color image, three exposures were added together, one made with a red filter, one with a green filter, and one with a blue filter. Credit: Mary Kay Hemenway/AASTRA teacher program/McDonald Observatory.

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Astronomical

Lagoon Nebula

The Lagoon Nebula is a star-forming region in the constellation Sagittarius. It also goes by the names M8 and NGC 2563. This image was made with the 0.8-meter Telescope at McDonald Observatory, using the Prime Focus Corrector instrument. To obtain a color image, three exposures were added together, one made with a red filter, one with a green filter, and one with a blue filter. Credit: Mary Kay Hemenway/AASTRA teacher program/McDonald Observatory.

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Astronomical

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