Tag Archives: PN G75.5+1.7

No, but it sure does look like that.

Behold: the Crescent nebula (the aforementioned pulsating brain) and the Soap Bubble nebula (that ‘orb’ [what are the chances?] at bottom left)  – two globular clouds of dust and gas drifting through the star field between our Milky Way and the constellation of Cygnus. To wit:

Both were formed at a final phase in the life of a star. Also known as NGC 6888, the Crescent was shaped as its bright, central massive Wolf-Rayet star, WR 136, shed its outer envelope in a strong stellar wind. Burning through fuel at a prodigious rate, WR 136 is near the end of a short life that should finish in a spectacular supernova explosion. Discovered in 2013, the Soap Bubble Nebula is likely a planetary nebula, the final shroud of a lower mass, long-lived, sun-like star destined to become a slowly cooling white dwarf. Both stellar shrouds are 5,000 light-years or so distant. The larger Crescent Nebula is around 25 light-years across.

(Image: Michael Miller, Jimmy Walker)